Friday, September 29, 2006

My Tax Returns are like a shield of steel!

Via Timmy, I find this absolutely fucking dreadful story which perfectly illustrates exactly what kind of cunt is ruling us.
Neil Martin faces bankruptcy and losing his home because of an error by the taxman. He has been told the law can do nothing. The taxman is not liable for his mistakes even when he seriously disadvantages customers, a judge ruled yesterday.

For starters, can we stop with all of this "customer" bullshit, please? A customer willingly purchases something, after researching price and value; this is not the fucking taxman. The taxman is a balckmailer: he extorts money with menaces. If we were a "customer" we could choose not to buy a product, or to buy that product somewhere different.
Neil Martin lost his case after being the first person to sue the Inland Revenue over allegations of negligence or administrative incompetence

Andrew Simmonds, QC, said that the Inland Revenue had been responsible for a 52-day "negligent" delay that had helped push a builder to the brink of bankruptcy.

However, he ruled that the tax office is immune to prosecution by individuals and businesses, unlike other public services such as hospitals and police forces.

I'm sorry, but why is this, precisely? Perhaps the judge would like to amplify this ruling just a teensy bit? Because, you see, if the taxman is immune to the law, then what other recourse do we mere mortals have? You fucking little cunts, you work for us! Fuck you.

That goes for the sodding judge as well. Come on, Simmonds; explain yourself, you double-dyed shit.
Neil Martin, 38, became the first person to sue the Inland Revenue, now known as Revenue & Customs, for alleged negligence or administrative incompetence.

Well, we should bring a lot more cases. The Revenue does not hesitate to haul any ordinary citizen up in court, or to fine them if they fuck up: how is it that the same does not apply to them? They have ruined this man's life: fucked his business, probably put him into bankruptcy, maybe lost him his house and the lazy, inefficient bastards at the HMRC are now immune? For fuck's sake.
The builder, from Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria, said that his business had been plunged into a cash flow crisis after a delay in processing a crucial form.

Without the form, part of 1999 anti-fraud legislation called the Construction Industry Scheme, contractors could not pay their bills without subtracting tax at source, which caused a cash crisis for the company.

Of course, of we simplified the whole tax system, then we wouldn't have to worry too much about this sort of shit. I would love to become a manager in the HMRC at that point, because, my god, the pleasure that I would take in personally sacking thousands of those fucks. I would kick them in the nuts too and then point out that I was immune from fucking prosecution.
Mr Martin now faces personal bankruptcy after being left with a swingeing tax bill of £250,000 along with substantial legal costs.

Yesterday he said that he intended to appeal against the judge's ruling and believes that the case could go "all the way to the House of Lords".

"This absolutely stinks," he said. "Ninety per cent of this judgment went in our favour, and I needed 100 per cent to get compensation. The Revenue is just allowed to put me out of business." He said that he was at risk of losing his home and that the case had been a huge strain on his fiancée, Janet.

I'm not fucking surprised. I hope that he goes all the way: perhaps someone should set up a donation site.
The judge ruled that the tax office has no "duty of care" to the individuals it advises, meaning that no individual can prosecute it for incompetence.

Now, just hang on one fucking second: are you telling me that HMRC can give incorrect advice (and who should know the rules better than the fucking HMRC?) and then fuck you over because they have screwed up? What kind of rancid fuckhole of a country are we living in.
Revenue & Customs welcomed the judge's ruling. "It confirms HMRC's understanding of the scope and extent of its duty of care to applicants under the Construction Industry Scheme," a spokesman said.

The Revenue had argued that, had Mr Martin won, it would have opened the floodgates to thousands of claims from businesses and individuals who believed that they had been disadvantaged.

Well, if you have screwed people in the past—and I cannot believe that Mr Martin's is an isolated case—I wouldn't be surprised if they decided to try to salvage something from your feckless incompetence.

I mean seriously, Mr HMRC Spokesman, what part of YOU WORK FOR US, YOU CUNT don't you get?

This is a fucking shocking state of affairs, it really is. Furthermore, I don't understand it: why are they immune? Fuck you and the horse you rode in on, sunshine...


Pogo said...

I think that they've always been immune to the repercussions of their own incompetence, it even says on their website that they take no responsibility for any advice or information given. That's why in more "normal" taxation circumstances you need a good accountant to pick up the errors that The Revenue make in their dealings with you.

Mr Eugenides said...

It is a fucking scandal. I wish all these people would die in a series of bizarrely coincidental fires.

Anonymous said...

I've met Niel Martin a few times with my last job, he's built that business up over a number of years and it's disgusting that he can lose it in this way.

If the Inland Revenue are going to give advice then they should stand by that advice, and if the advice is wrong they should be responsible for it.

This is the new labour way though, never take responsibility.

Anonymous said...

Well DK what better moment than now? Surely some of your readers could spare a bob or two if the fundraising site existed. I am piss-poor and haven't got the time (I am a student but even I could find a tenner somewhere) but I am sure a lot of your readers and fellow bloggers could bring enough publicity to the case. The cunts from the Tax Office are worse than traffic wardens.
My mother-in-law submitted a tax return in August before the deadline, the Inland Revenue calculated the tax, and in January they said "Oh, we miscalculated, you owe us more - GIVE US THE MONEY NOW! - or else"
She had to take a loan out at commercial rate, fucking cunts.
I think Neil Martin should go to the highest possible court, even that fucking pathetic excuse of a shithole ECJ, surely there must be some stupid HR that would prevent the state fucking decent people over.

Anoneumouse said...

That levying money for or to the use of the crown, by pretence of prerogative, without grant of parliament, for longer time, or in other manner than the same is or shall be granted, is illegal.

Bowles v. Bank of England (No. 2) 1913. 1 Ch. 57), and these decisions imply that the House of Commons acting alone does not constitute the `Parliament' recognized by the English courts." 103 Sol. Jour. 995, 996. The Court in Bowles v. Bank of England, 1913. 1 Ch. 57, 84-85, stated: "By the statute 1 W. & M., usually known as the Bill of Rights, it was finally settled that there could be no taxation in this country except under authority of an Act of Parliament. The Bill of Rights still remains unrepealed, and no practice or custom, however prolonged, or however acquiesced in on the part of the subject, can be relied on by the Crown as justifying any infringement of its provisions. It follows that, with regard to the powers of the Crown to levy taxation, no resolution, either of the Committee for Ways and Means or of the House itself, has any legal effect whatever. Such resolutions are necessitated by a parliamentary procedure adopted with a view to the protection of the subject against the hasty imposition of taxes, and it would be strange to find them relied on as justifying the Crown in levying a tax before such tax is actually imposed by Act of Parliament."

Anonymous said...


Unfortunately, amongst other things the Provisional Collection of Taxes Act 1968 allows the tax authorities to levy taxes immediately following the budget ( )

Our rulers have successfully got round the ancient provisions (and your cited case) whereby tax raising had to be legislated annually (and thus Parliament had to be summoned annually) by giving the executive powers to keep on taxing in the absence of a Finance Act. The legal fiction is that the House of Commons is a brake on the executive: not recently and, certainly, not since 1997. Even more fictitious, of course, if even the official "opposition" doesn't oppose.

Gavin said...

You wouldn't believe the incompetence of HMRC officers I've seen while representing clients during tax enquiries. Half of them either don't understand or else deliberately ignore the limits of their powers as set out in the Inspectors Manuals. For example, they have to have a SPECIFIC suspicion about SPECIFIC transactions before they can demand that you show them the bank statements of your personal (not business) bank account, but the number of times I've seen them ask to see the statements for no specific reason, and I've said "Oh no you don't, you'll follow your own guidelines to the letter or else". Us accountants have to know HMRC's rulebooks inside out, because you bet your life HMRC will try and break their own rules.

You know what, this court ruling smacks to me of a masonic handshake between the judge and the HMRC district inspector, because HMRC make so many cock-ups that to establish a precedent against them would likely lead to them repaying half the treasury's tax revenues in compensation.

Of course HMRC (and every other govt dept) should be accountable and liable to us for their incompetence. The ironic thing though, is that the details of this case are not the best example of why.
In the construction industry, when you start out, the default position is that you apply for a subcontractor's basic card, a CIS4, I think it's called. Your customers are not even legally allowed to hire your firm until you show them this card, and they must deduct 18% tax from their payments to you. (This is not an "extra" tax, but a payment on account of your final tax bill, the difference to be paid/refunded to you when you do your tax return. It's basically PAYE, adapted for the construction industry).
Only after your firm has been trading for a few years and has a proven record of filing tax returns on time/paying tax on time etc, are you allowed to apply for the "Gross Payment" card, which allows your customers to pay you in full with no deduction of tax on account. It looks like it was this card that the defendant was applying for, and which was held up. The defendant thought to himself "Great, from now on, for every £820 I have been receiving from my customers, I'll be getting the full £1000 instead" and so he managed his outgoings accordingly. Sure, he ought to have been able to work on that basis, but what I'm saying is, it's not that HMRC overtaxed him or got his tax bill wrong as such. They didn't take any more money off him than they were already supposed to, but rather, he planned his cashflow on the (reasonable) assumption that his card would come through on time, and it didn't. Still, I'm not saying that was his fault.

On the subject, I read your post on IR35 the other week. Now that is a vicious piece of legislation.

neil martin said...

I am the builder that sued the taxman.
I have been overwelmed with support, but unfortunatly not the type of support i need (funding ) I intend to take this case as far as i can as there has been a massive injustice carried out here.
one chap told me about the human rights issue that tony blair brought in during 2000, there is two articles missing in the british version, one of which ( article 13 ) is the rights to a remedy from a violation by a public athority. this article would bring me success in the european courts.
If any one could assist me in setting up a donnation web site i would be more than greatfull.

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