Should Tax Returns be Public?

Posted by Ivan Rendall on 10 April 2016 in Blogging

The idea that we should all be forced to make our tax returns public is horrifying, not because of the breach of privacy involved but because we would rapidly became numbers rather than people.

David Cameron has, once again, through a hasty decision, left the country with a national mess to clear up all because he was too weak to stand up to the press and the public.

The way to make the tax system acceptable is simple: legislate, clearly what the various levels and forms of tax should be in a law which a bright 15 year old could follow; take the adversarial relationship between the individual and the HMRC out in the same new law; apply a new tax, let’s call it SuperVAT, of 100% on all fees paid to tax consultants who advise on ways round any loopholes they can devise, then legislate them out of existence within two years.

Politicians should not be having personal abuse fests over each other’s income. The rich would benefit from some financially costly common sense: at the moment, we’re heading for wealth taxes some day.

That would be undesirable. The reason is that provided that wealth is accumulated from properly and clearly taxed sources it should remain the impulse behind entrepreneurs like Branson, Gupta, et al.

There is no point in trying to create entrepreneurs with the education system while taking it away with multiple layers of complex tax laws for which, since they are clever folks, they will find an answer. From abroad.

Trying to suggest that wealth is a sin or that legal tax planning is immoral is stupid. The fault is in our silly legislators who are scared of putting a proper system in place. Start giving us sensible laws or make way for legislators who will do so.

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