Everyone in Britain is to be given an on-line tax account that will keep a record of every detail of their pay, pensions and benefits.
The new digital accounts being launched by HM Revenue & Customs will work like an internet bank account, and keep an up-to-the-minute record of all the tax someone has paid.
Workers and pensioners will also be able to pay bills or make lump sum deposits on account, and update their details for benefits or tax credit payouts.
It will also show your salary or total income, how much tax you have paid to date and what you paid in interest on savings or any investments.
Ruth Owen, HMRC’s director general of personal tax, says: ‘It will let you keep all your tax details in one place — income tax, tax credits, say — and the account will be personal to you.
‘It will also let us see your details and check if something isn’t quite right with your payments.’
The online accounts are the latest attempt by the Revenue to get taxpayers to go online.
Pension experts have called for up-to-the-minute accounts so that retirees taking advantage of the new pension reforms know how much they are likely to pay in tax when they draw cash from their nest eggs.
Though final details have not been confirmed, it is thought the online accounts will work in a similar fashion to an online bank account.
They will require passwords and user names. Any changes made to the online account will be updated on a central database — so call-centre staff won’t have to ask you for the same details every time you phone.
Over time, HMRC hopes to add guides, calculators and other useful tax tools to the site. The first accounts are set to launch in April. However, no one will be forced to open an account.
Pensioner groups have expressed concern that older and vulnerable households unable — or unwilling — to use a computer will get left behind.
HMRC has faced severe criticism for pumping more resources online at the expense of face-to-face services.
In July, the doors closed on the last of its former nationwide network of 281 walk-in centres.
The tax authority said a plunge in the number of people making visits lay behind its cost-cutting decision
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#AceFinanceNews – UNITED STATES – WHITEHOUSE – April 12 – President and Michele Obama saw their income drop significantly in 2013, according to tax returns released by the White House Friday http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2014/04/11/president-obama-and-vice-president-biden-s-2013-tax-returns
For 2013, the Obamas reported adjusted gross income of $481,098 – no pauper’s salary, but a 21% drop from the $608,611 they reported in 2012 http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2013/04/12/president-obama-and-vice-president-biden-2012-tax-returns
With the smaller take home pay, their charitable contributions similarly shrank – from $150,034 in 2012 to $59,251 in 2013.
The big difference: book sales are down. The Obamas reported $273,739 income from publishers/agents in 2012, but only $116,180 in 2013.
Would like to know what Joe Biden’s income and status figures are visit this page http://www.usatoday.com/story/theoval/2014/04/11/obama-tax-returns-income-drop/7602535/
The Institute for Fiscal Studies has said that the spending cuts announced in the Autumn Statement are “close to inconceivable” and added that it believes further welfare cuts and tax rises are likely if the Government’s figures are to add up. Its director Paul Johnson said that pensioners’ benefits could be targeted for further cuts, commenting: “Working age individuals receiving benefits and tax credits have been hit. The richest few per cent have been hit very hard. Pensioners, and those in work on more modest incomes have borne less of the burden.” The IFS said that Britain is on course for £7bn of tax rises and another £20bn in welfare cuts and spending reductions after the next election, adding that it expects 5m workers to be paying higher-rate tax by 2015 – half a million more than the Treasury’s estimate.
People who pay their taxes promptly and in full will be dismayed to discover that the enormous level of tax avoidance taking place is overwhelming HMRC’s efforts to combat it. The scale of the problem is staggering. There are tens of thousands of users of mass-marketed avoidance schemes in the UK. HMRC estimates that over £10 billion of tax is at risk owing to individuals and small businesses avoiding paying money that is due.
Between 2004 and 2011, around 2,300 avoidance schemes were disclosed to HMRC, with over 100 new schemes emerging in the past four years. Until tested in court, I am dismayed that these schemes will continue to reap rewards for individual users at the cost of the public purse. This is particularly galling at a time of pinched resources affecting essential services.
HMRC is struggling to understand what impact its anti-avoidance activities are having. It is overcome by an eye-watering 41,000 open cases of which over 5,000 have sat unresolved for between five and ten years. My concern is that without a credible plan to resolve these cases and to stamp out future avoidance, the public will lose confidence in the tax system’s ability to collect even-handedly what is due from all individuals and companies.
HMRC must step up its enforcement activity to clamp down on promoters of schemes who fail to disclose properly. The DOTAS reporting regime is quickening HMRC’s action against avoidance schemes. But HMRC is constantly playing catch-up as new schemes open up. Fines are being applied in far too few cases to serve as a meaningful deterrent. HMRC needs a robust plan to tackle its mountain of open cases. It needs to start collecting the right information to demonstrate to the public that its anti-avoidance approach works as well as is possible. HMRC should also use this information to press the case for how future tax yields can be improved with appropriate levels of trained staff.
- Inland revenue ‘losing war’ on tax-dodging rich (morningstaronline.co.uk)
- The NAO verdict is that HMRC is in denial about tax avoidance (taxresearch.org.uk)
- If we’re to beat the tax avoidance crisis the National Audit Office identify then we must have a General Anti-Tax Avoidance Bill (taxresearch.org.uk)
KEY FINDINGS –
Overall Size – A significant fraction of global private financial wealth — by our estimates, at least $21 to $32 trillion as of 2010 — has been invested virtually tax-free through the world’s still expanding black hole of more than 80 “offshore” secrecy jurisdictions. We believe this range to be conservative, for reasons discussed below.Remember: this is just financial wealth. A big share of the real estate, yachts,racehorses, gold bricks — and many other things that count as non-financial wealth are also owned via offshore structures where it is impossible to identify the owners.These are outside the scope of this report.
On this scale, this “offshore economy” is large enough to have a major impact on estimates of inequality of wealth and income; on estimates of national income and debt ratios; and – most importantly – to have very significant negative impacts on the domestic tax bases of key “source” countries (that is, countries that have seen net unrecorded private capital outflows over time
A simple question most people would say, but look at the reality of what it really means and it is not such a simple question after all!
The problem is simply what is tax evasion and what is tax avoidance and in this world of global financial contracts, the two blur into one. As and having worked in this country and offshore with my own offshore company and account, l personally do not see any reason to avoid paying tax!
As any accountant l employed had the job of mitigating my tax bill in favour of saving me money and allowing me to pay only what l really should owe! This is legitimate tax avoidance and is completely allowable!
Then we come to avoiding taxation by paying nothing at all and setting up offshore tax structures in such a way as to legitimise all tax avoidance! Whereby you have all the perks of claiming in the country of residency, but also can arrange to domicile yourself,by certain tax avoidance schemes and not paying anything!
So we have two different scenarios and the reason is tax avoidance!
So what of governments and revenue services where do they hold their funds? Well many of them have tax havens and massive property portfolios that are utilised for raising massive amounts of capital for investment purposes and make even more money, to totally avoid tax at all!
Remember anyone can use legitimate means transfer money to another account offshore without paying tax! The problem is getting that money back into the country and not paying tax!
This is where tax avoidance becomes tax evasion in many cases!
- Jeff Salway: Disabled are easier target for Tories than tax avoiders (scotsman.com)
- Wordconomic 4: Tax Avoidance (not Tax Evasion) (selionmanagement.wordpress.com)
- How We Morally Justify Tax Avoidance (acefinance.me)
- $21 trillion hidden offshore (bankrate.com)
- Romney’s Panama Misadventures Open Our Eyes to Offshore Tax Evasion – The Daily Beast (tribuneofthepeople.com)
- Fact File: Tax Avoidance (independent.co.uk)
- Why we should beware of plans to ‘name and shame’ tax avoiders (blogs.telegraph.co.uk)