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New year, same old tax evasion story

It’s barely the New Year but HMRC is sticking doggedly to the mistaken belief that it’s not completely useless when it comes to rooting out tax avoidance.

Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs was just seriously challenged to get with the programme and get its head in the game when it came to going after tax avoidance and tax evasion perpetrated by multinational companies operating on British soil instead of simply persecuting contractors and freelancers. However, the criticism has rolled off the stubborn taxman like water from a duck’s back, proving that 2014 will be nothing new under the sun as far as HMRC’s game plan; it doesn’t matter that the strongly worded recommendations came from a cadre of MPs in committee, either!

HMRC simply isn’t using its full bag of tricks when it comes to going after high-profile firms like Amazon, Starbucks and Google. MPs estimated that the lack of any real backbone on the part of the tax authority cost the Government  £35 billion in tax payments that could have been made, but the taxman completely disregarded the committee’s findings.

Meanwhile, the amount of money HMRC actually collected this year did indeed go up by some  £1.4 billion in comparison to last year. Yet somehow this is supposed to comfort us when that figure could have been £36.4 billion instead? I swear it’s like the taxman isn’t even operating on the same plane of existence as the rest of us!

It just goes to show you that there’s no remorse when it comes to the Government’s foolhardy lack of instituting any sort of measures to rein in big business running roughshod over British tax laws. Large multinationals are permitted to outsource their profits to tax shelters worldwide, yet countless contractors get thrown to the wolves every day because they’re supposedly and somehow miraculously in danger of being in violation of IR35 rules designed to disguise employment as freelance work.

It’s abominable that we have to put up with this! Why is nothing being done? Can HMRC truly just ignore an entire committee of MPs and their findings simply because it’s too stubborn to admit it’s doing things completely and totally backwards? Has the world gone mad or is it just me?

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