Employees are to be taxed for every Covid-19 test they take, HMRC confirms

Just when you think the Tories are as low as they can go, they find a new way to disappoint. HMRC has confirmed that Coronavirus tests are to be treated as a “benefit in kind” and that every employee who takes one as part of their job will be taxed for it: HMRC yesterday confirmed workers who have a Coronavirus test from employer as part of their job will see it treated as a 'benefit in kind' and thus be taxed on it (& see take home pay reduced) Delighted…

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Tax offices refuse to charge rich people with evasion – to avoid reputational damage

How sympathetic of our tax guardians! And if I get caught evading my tax responsibilities, will I receive the same treatment? No? Then this is unfair and must end. It also seems contradictory. Look: A senior HMRC official admitted that the UK tax authority panders to the rich and powerful when chasing them for tax evasion so they can avoid “reputational damage“. If you ever had any doubt that in Britain there really is “one rule for them, and another for the rest of us“, this utterly astonishing admission by the…

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Tax break for referendum campaign donors is nothing less than theft

“This is theft. They buy control of our country, then get tax relief on their investment.” Damn straight. This Writer can’t help but agree with ‘Brexit Job Losses’ (@MrHickmott). All you have to do is look at the list of beneficiaries from this proposed law change. None of them are short of a few pennies. And how many are looking forward to cashing in on Brexit? Brexit-backing MPs as well as counterparts from the remain campaign have backed a controversial measure to extend a tax break to referendum campaign donors,…

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Is HMRC ‘struggling to deal with fallout of Paradise Papers leak’ because staff numbers have been cut too far?

Isn’t it interesting – some would say fortunate for the Conservatives and their tax avoiding friends – that HM Revenue and Customs don’t seem to have enough staff and resources to investigate the Paradise Papers revelations properly? The Tories have been cutting Civil Service number wholesale since they came into office in 2010. As the graph (above) shows, the number of staff in HMRC was cut by one-third between 2005 and 2014. It should be admitted that New Labour was in office for the first five years of this period.…

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Welfare is perfectly sustainable, Gideon – it’s the TAX GAP that’s the problem!

George Gideon Osborne. Was there ever a more foolish fellow running the Exchequer? Probably not. Did you hear him in Prime Minister’s Questions yesterday, trying to tell us that the UK’s social security bill makes up seven per cent of welfare in the whole world, and that this is “unsustainable”? What a berk. The first question this raises is, can he prove his “seven per cent” claim? No – he’s wrong. The claim is based on a comment by German Chancellor Angela Merkel about EU social security being 50 per cent of…

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Tax avoidance – the latest from Twitter

This infographic appeared on Twitter yesterday. At a time when it has been revealed that the richest people in the UK doubled their income between 2009 and 2014, proving that the Coalition government lied about sharing the burden equally, it seems appropriate to share it. Supporting information on the £120 billion figure can be found here and here. The HMRC figure is harder to pin down but a claim that it amounted to £32 billion can be found here. The claim that £16 billion in benefits goes unclaimed every year…

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The ugly face of New Labour rears up again: Chris Leslie and Nita Clarke

  It seems the neoliberal Blairites of New Labour are coming out of the woodwork in an effort to ensure that nobody in their right mind supports the modern Labour Party next year. According to the Huffington Post, shadow chief secretary to the Treasury Chris Leslie reckons that a future Labour government will not undo the Coalition’s hugely unpopular cuts but will continue to impose the austerity that has kept our economy in crisis for the last four years. In that case, why bother voting for Labour? We’ve already got one lot…

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Now the Tories want to sell your tax details to private firms

Not happy with its attempt to sell your health details to private companies, the moneygrubbing Conservative-led Coalition wants to sell off your personal tax data to companies, researchers and public bodies. The government is considering how much to charge for the information, and claims that all data accessed by third parties will be “confidential”. But the public has already been stung once by the Coalition’s incompetent attempts to go commercial. The proposed initiative to share NHS medical records with the private sector had to be suspended after a public outcry…

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‘Unpaid taxes’ retrieval power – good or bad?

Don’t you hate it when people avoid telling you things you ought to know? George Osborne’s budget speech never mentioned the new power granted to HM Revenue and Customs, allowing it “to delve into Britons’ bank accounts for money that officials think is owed in unpaid taxes, in a move which critics have warned leave officials ‘a law unto themselves’,” according to the Huffington Post. The trouble is, I’m not sure whether this is really a bad thing, or a useful tool in the battle against corporate and mega-rich tax…

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Why is the DWP being so coy about the Work Programme?

It’s amazing how the Department for Work and Pensions will bend over backwards to make it seem one of its madcap schemes has been successful. It’s also amazing how little evidence DWP press officers will provide to support the claim. Today we’re being told that more than a quarter of a million people have escaped unemployment via the Work Programme. The fiddle? This is an aggregate figure, including all placements – not people – since the scheme was launched in June 2011. To register as someone who has achieved a…

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