Itâs been a while since there has been a story in the press that left me with my jaw so far down that it hurt. But today, I believe, we are firmly back in the deranged world of government gone completely insane:
HM Revenue and Customs could take direct control of every workerâs monthly pay cheque under plans to overhaul the error-prone income tax system.
Instead of employers deducting income tax then paying gross salaries to employees, the gross monthly payment would go to an HMRC-run tax âcalculatorâ, which would then pass the net salary to the worker.
The reform would mean the end of traditional monthly payslips, because employers would no longer be able to tell workers how much tax they had paid each month.
The immediate thought that comes to mind is: what do we do when (and not if!) this all goes wrong? What happens when, as will inevitably happen, HMRC makes a balls up and takes your whole monthâs salary? Who will you fight with? Without a payslip, how do you budget for the forthcoming month, especially if you are on highly variable wages? What about people with all sorts of different sources of income? How will this âhelpâ them? What about people who have valid reasons for submitting an annual return to claw money back?
Inevitably, this kind of glorious âlateral thinkingâ is a result of the many failings of the people in HMRC. Why is the long-suffering taxpayer being exposed to this extraordinary risk? Itâs not like the government exactly has a fantastic track record when it comes to grandiose computer systems.
Iâm going to do something that I donât generally do, because Iâm not as erudite at campaigning as Anna: Iâm going to ask you to spread the word about this as far as you can; Iâm going to ask you to write to your useless MP and complain in the strongest possible terms about this insane idea; write to your local newspaper, tell all your friends and do everything you can think of to stop this insane idea from becoming reality.
Because although Anna is a wonderful campaigner, I donât think thereâs enough of her to go around to save each and every one of us!
UPDATE: I am generally loathe to update articles, especially if they have only just been published, but I feel that this information may be of great value to 1.4 million taxpayers:
The first batch of 45,000 letters demanding cash to be repaid will start to arrive on Tuesday â with the rest sent out over the next four months.
But accountants said recipients should act swiftly to use a little-known loophole which forces HM Revenue and Customs to abandon âout of the blueâ demands and effectively write off the money.
They also insisted many of those affected are entitled to argue that they or their employer have done nothing wrong and should not be penalised for someone elseâs blunder.
Enough is enough. It is time to starve these incompetent thieves of our hard-earned money!