Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Animal Farm

It would appear that HMRC are most definately fans of George Orwell - in particlar his work "Animal Farm"

In this book the animals take over the farm; the pigs then betray the other animals and impose a dictatorship, using the slogan "All animals are created equal but some animals are more equal than others" to justify their actions.

It appears to be with HMRC's proposed new rules with time bars on making claims for tax errors. HMRC are proposing to cut the number of years taxpayers will have to claim back any tax overpayments/overcharges.

Fair enough, maybe if the rule is also applies to HMRC's right to claim underpaid tax fromthe taxpayer. However, there is one small fly in the oinkment - HMRC don't intend to apply the same timebar to theri right to claim underpaid tax from the taxpayer.

When taxpayers are wrongly charged they currently have 6 years to claim back their money. HMRC want to cut the time to 4 years. They want of course to retain their right to reclaim underpaid tax for up to 6 years. Those who are most likely to suffer from tax overpayments are those on low incomes. This is because the system for extra allowances, tax credits and pensions is so complex that HMRC and taxpayers are more often than not at a loss to understand it!

Given the complexity and muddle of the tax system why is it that HMRC wants to cut back on the rights of taxpayers to reclaim overpaid tax yet not apply the same rules to itself? Hardly fair is it?

All animal are equal but some animals are more equal than others!

Thanks to Ken Frost http://hmrcisshite.blogspot.com

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