Tuesday, 31 January 2017

THE RICH AND TAX


What is it with the rich and paying tax? It never ceases to amaze me that Mr and Mrs Average are reasonably happy to pay their taxes. Most of the people I know will stand back and look at exactly what you get from the state and be happy to pay up. We do any way because if we don't the tax man is quickly on our case. I suppose Jo Average is much easier to chase than Mr Rich. We are quickly intimidated into paying what we owe. Yet the rich and the stinking rich find all sorts of ways to avoid paying taxes. Of course, they can employ the top accountants to help and they in their turn, manage to conjure up all manner of wheezes to get round the tax laws. Not only that, but many of these top accountancy firms who organize tax avoidance schemes still get government contracts and are asked to give the government advice. Seems loony to me.

How much do people need to live? How much can you spend in a lifetime? If you are making five million a year why would you want to avoid paying tax? Yet many who earn that sort of money and a lot more in some cases go out of their way to pay as little tax as possible. You would think that the sums paid to these greedy accountants would almost cover tax liabilities yet people still stash away huge sums in tax havens like the British Virgin Islands. Governments of all persuasions condemn these transactions and swear to do something about it but never do. How many chancellors of the exchequer have sworn to eradicate the practice and close any loop holes and actually do nothing. Are they complicit in the practice? Many of these very rich people make donations to the political parties and politicians fighting funds and this may have some baring on their supposed inability to plug the holes in the laws that allow this to happen.

Of course, politicians are known for their corruption, many are corrupt, although all would vociferously deny it, but being taken out to a top restaurant in London and schmoozed for an evening even if it is declared, is a form of corruption. Is it any wonder that populations are getting fed up with politicians. They don't do themselves any favors. The expenses scandal a few years ago is a classic example of politicians behaving badly and getting away with it. One or two of the very worst cases were publicly dealt with but the vast majority got away with their frauds, and sad to say, it is still going on to a slightly lesser extent may be, but still happening. Members of the public who do similar and are found out are prosecuted and land up with criminal records if found guilty. Well, plenty of MPs admitted their guilt and paid back money they had fraudulently obtained and that was alright! So when they state that they will pursue those who hide their fortunes abroad do we believe them? I don't think so.

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