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 Publish Everyone's Taxable Income?

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PostSubject: Publish Everyone's Taxable Income?   Thu May 01, 2008 2:37 pm

I love this story from Italy. The government in a final gesture of two fingers to tax evaders published everybody's taxable income on a website. This was to let people know who wasn't paying their taxes.
There would be serious craic if they did this here. Imagine the panic in Cavan and Kerry!

Some positives:
- we could judge everybody by their income.
- bluffers would find it harder to score.
- Cafe En Seine would go Wi-Fi.
- Employers would have to pay all important staff a fair wage.
- Employer's would have to be straight up with all the duds and tell them they are getting paid less because they are thick or lazy.
- pogroms against high earners and clever people.
- you could condescend to your neighbours who are in financial difficulty.
- indecent proposals would sky-rocket.
- burglars could develop a social conscience.
- Workers would retrain for more profitable jobs.
- Marketing and advertising people would know just who to annoy all the time.
- Friends could get in nasty digs when they are hammered and you accidently look at their wife's legs.
- Any moaner could be answered with "I pay five times as much tax as you"

Bring it on!
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PostSubject: Re: Publish Everyone's Taxable Income?   Thu May 01, 2008 3:40 pm

Tasty post, Zhou.
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PostSubject: Re: Publish Everyone's Taxable Income?   Sat May 03, 2008 9:47 pm

On reflection, and having seen what happened in Italy, I think this is a really good idea. If we are going to look for value for money in the public services, we need to know how much people are costing us, and when taxation is being debated it would be good to see who can afford to pay.
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PostSubject: Re: Publish Everyone's Taxable Income?   Sat May 03, 2008 11:32 pm

Amongst the self-employed, it would prompt the question "who's your accountant?".
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PostSubject: Re: Publish Everyone's Taxable Income?   Sun May 04, 2008 12:41 am

Maybe in the past, but it would appear that it is getting much harder to spend money that hasn't been declared.

After-tax incomes should be published too.
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PostSubject: Re: Publish Everyone's Taxable Income?   Sun May 04, 2008 12:51 am

cactus flower wrote:
Maybe in the past, but it would appear that it is getting much harder to spend money that hasn't been declared.

After-tax incomes should be published too.

Well, no - the aim when you're self-employed would be to have the lowest possible taxable income without evading tax.
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PostSubject: Re: Publish Everyone's Taxable Income?   Sun May 04, 2008 1:00 am

ibis wrote:
cactus flower wrote:
Maybe in the past, but it would appear that it is getting much harder to spend money that hasn't been declared.

After-tax incomes should be published too.

Well, no - the aim when you're self-employed would be to have the lowest possible taxable income without evading tax.

I got your point Ibis: my point was that up until this year the Revenue ignored the evidence of spending patterns of the self-employed and dealt with self-assessment/company accounts on their own merits. It has been widely flagged for some time that this practice is changing from this year and that the Revenue is going to follow up anomalies between earnings and expenditure in the books or apparent from other sources. Given the fact that they are quite a bit adrift in the amount collected this year I would say they will go at this with some enthusiasm.

It would not be much fun having a clever accountant who stashed it away for you if you couldn't spend it without a probable audit and penalties. affraid
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PostSubject: Re: Publish Everyone's Taxable Income?   Sun May 04, 2008 1:14 am

cactus flower wrote:
ibis wrote:
cactus flower wrote:
Maybe in the past, but it would appear that it is getting much harder to spend money that hasn't been declared.

After-tax incomes should be published too.

Well, no - the aim when you're self-employed would be to have the lowest possible taxable income without evading tax.

I got your point Ibis: my point was that up until this year the Revenue ignored the evidence of spending patterns of the self-employed and dealt with self-assessment/company accounts on their own merits. It has been widely flagged for some time that this practice is changing from this year and that the Revenue is going to follow up anomalies between earnings and expenditure in the books or apparent from other sources. Given the fact that they are quite a bit adrift in the amount collected this year I would say they will go at this with some enthusiasm.

Ah - apologies! Yes indeed, they'll be profiling some 700,000 individuals, I believe.

cactus flower wrote:
It would not be much fun having a clever accountant who stashed it away for you if you couldn't spend it without a probable audit and penalties. affraid

I don't have a clever accountant, and I just had an audit...
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PostSubject: Re: Publish Everyone's Taxable Income?   Sun May 04, 2008 1:44 am

ibis wrote:
cactus flower wrote:
ibis wrote:
cactus flower wrote:
Maybe in the past, but it would appear that it is getting much harder to spend money that hasn't been declared.

After-tax incomes should be published too.

Well, no - the aim when you're self-employed would be to have the lowest possible taxable income without evading tax.

I got your point Ibis: my point was that up until this year the Revenue ignored the evidence of spending patterns of the self-employed and dealt with self-assessment/company accounts on their own merits. It has been widely flagged for some time that this practice is changing from this year and that the Revenue is going to follow up anomalies between earnings and expenditure in the books or apparent from other sources. Given the fact that they are quite a bit adrift in the amount collected this year I would say they will go at this with some enthusiasm.

Ah - apologies! Yes indeed, they'll be profiling some 700,000 individuals, I believe.

cactus flower wrote:
It would not be much fun having a clever accountant who stashed it away for you if you couldn't spend it without a probable audit and penalties. affraid

I don't have a clever accountant, and I just had an audit...

Oops! I'd say that was a bit stressfull. Hope it works out all right. Would hate it if your laptop got repossessed. Mad
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PostSubject: Re: Publish Everyone's Taxable Income?   Sun May 04, 2008 1:55 am

cactus flower wrote:
ibis wrote:
cactus flower wrote:
ibis wrote:
cactus flower wrote:
Maybe in the past, but it would appear that it is getting much harder to spend money that hasn't been declared.

After-tax incomes should be published too.

Well, no - the aim when you're self-employed would be to have the lowest possible taxable income without evading tax.

I got your point Ibis: my point was that up until this year the Revenue ignored the evidence of spending patterns of the self-employed and dealt with self-assessment/company accounts on their own merits. It has been widely flagged for some time that this practice is changing from this year and that the Revenue is going to follow up anomalies between earnings and expenditure in the books or apparent from other sources. Given the fact that they are quite a bit adrift in the amount collected this year I would say they will go at this with some enthusiasm.

Ah - apologies! Yes indeed, they'll be profiling some 700,000 individuals, I believe.

cactus flower wrote:
It would not be much fun having a clever accountant who stashed it away for you if you couldn't spend it without a probable audit and penalties. affraid

I don't have a clever accountant, and I just had an audit...

Oops! I'd say that was a bit stressfull. Hope it works out all right. Would hate it if your laptop got repossessed. Mad

Can't abide laptops. Fiddly little things.
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PostSubject: Re: Publish Everyone's Taxable Income?   Sun May 04, 2008 2:14 am

Is it something like this?

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PostSubject: Re: Publish Everyone's Taxable Income?   Sun May 04, 2008 2:16 am

cactus flower wrote:
Is it something like this?


Bit bigger, but a lot more spread out...
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PostSubject: Re: Publish Everyone's Taxable Income?   Sun May 04, 2008 2:48 am

ibis wrote:
cactus flower wrote:
Is it something like this?


Bit bigger, but a lot more spread out...

Every time I see this, I want it more. Shocked
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PostSubject: Re: Publish Everyone's Taxable Income?   Sun May 04, 2008 3:08 am

On the subject of income, how would that be calculated, exactly? CEOs, directors and suchlike could avoid having an embarrassingly large income compared to the relative poverty of others by funnelling their pay cheques into pension contributions, share options and benefits in kind and so on.

That could leave this system open to abuse.

As well, is this truly fair? Surely everyone's financial affairs are their own private business? Is that not why banks put "Private and Confidential" on every bank statement sent to you, even if it's to inform you of something as inconsequential as 1 cent in interest being added to your deposit. Surely this publication of an individual's income is an erosion and invasion of this privacy to which everyone has a right?

Furthermore, cui bono? Honest citizens? Random voyeurs? Prurient neighbours? Drunken users of the internet in the small hours?

I'm deeply dubious about this venture.
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