Tag Archives: behavior management

HMRC tries another scam


Another day, another HMRC “nudge” tactic.

This time, it is an “invitation” for the taxpayer to deliberately misclassify / misdeclare loans as income, for HMRC’s benefit, using a law that doesn’t actually exist as a threat.
There is no statute or case law in existence to back this “invitation”.
In other words: it is manipulation at its finest on HMRC’s part.

In essence, they are encouraging the recipient to file an innacurate return… then in the same paragraph, inform that there are penalties for innacurate returns. 
Even Kafka wouldn’t have made it up.
Note also the neat “I want to help you” faux-friendly tone (did Behavioural Insights Ltd. come up with this?)

It’s little wonder that people fall for “HMRC” scams every day, when actual HMRC correpondance is so blatantly manipulative and deceiving. How this can go out on official letterhead without anyone blushing is beyond us – but hey, we’re not from the Stalin-esque “the end justifies the means” school of thought…

Thanks to the reader who sent us this gem, and shame on you, Harra, Granger, Troup, & the other scammers who authorised this. Soon you will find yourselves so entangled in lies, breaches of procedure, and contradictions of your own making that neither the PAC nor the Judiciary will be fooled anymore. And when the pendulum swings, it will swing faster than you can say “maximizing the amout of tax collected“.

If you are a contractor or recipient of APN(s) and have been offered a dubious “offer you can’t refuse” from HMRC, please get in touch via our contact form.

Are you a “soft target”?

softtargetFrom The Telegraph :

“(…) HM Revenue & Customs made inquiries about the tax affairs of 237,215 people last year, compared with about 119,000 in 2011-12, figures obtained by The Daily Telegraph show.

The number of self-employed people investigated has quadrupled in that time while annual prosecutions have risen sevenfold in three years.
The figures are evidence of the attempts HMRC is taking to minimise the estimated £35 billion of tax lost every year.
Experts have warned that people who have made simple errors when filling out self-assessment tax returns are “an easy target” for HMRC.

Tax experts warned that “soft targets”, middle-class professionals such as doctors, lawyers and teachers, were being targeted. They were more likely to settle any claims without dispute because they felt “anxious” when HMRC sent warning letters.

A Tory MP on the Commons Treasury select committee said last night that HMRC had been “given a mandate to aggressively go about trying to collect tax” and accused it of “nit-picking”. (…)

Comment from Dotas Scandal Team:

To put things in perspective, here are HMRC’s own figures on what makes up that “35bn estimated loss of tax.

5.4bn Hidden Economy (criminal activity)
5.1bn Evasion (a criminal act)
4.7bn Criminal Attacks (obviously criminal)
4.4bn Non Payment (tax written off due to insolvency etc)
4.3bn Failure to take reasonable care (mostly inadvertent under-declaration)
4.3bn Legal Interpretation (a legal dispute between HMRC and the customer over the interpretation of tax legislation)
4.0bn Avoidance (operation within the law but not achieving what the government intended)
2.9bn Errors (Mainly theirs)

And the “estimation” again by classification of groups causing that tax gap:

16.7bn Small and medium sized businesses
8.8bn Large Business
4.7bn Criminals
4.7bn Individuals

And all these figures include VAT, a major source of revenue.

So of the total amount of roughly 35bn:

15.2bn requires establishing criminal activity.
4.4bn cannot be recovered largely because of insolvency
4.3bn requires legal clarification.
4.0bn is completely legal
2.9bn is mainly their fault

And the remaining 4.3bn is the “Failure to take reasonable care”.

Assuming that is split in the same proportions as the overall classification estimates, non criminal individuals will account for roughly 577m.