Book Review: The Great Tax Robbery by Richard Brooks

Frederick Cowell 

Image© DS Pugh

Simon Hoggart’s diary column in a recent edition of the Saturday Guardian, whilst not referencing Richard Brooks’ detailed book, captures its essence

“Suppose you got a letter from HMRC saying: “Your tax bill of £3,258.47 is now overdue. If it is not paid immediately further action will be taken.” At the end is a scrawled note, saying, “but if you buy me lunch, and give me a job when I leave, we can call it quits for £105.”

That’s not a joke – that’s actually a reasonable summary of what the Inland Revenue actually did. As Richard Brooks details in exhaustive depth in Chapter Eight of The Great Tax Robbery the Inland Revenue has form in this area – in 2011 they negotiated what can only be called a sweetheart deal with the authorities in Switzerland which simply wrote off billions of pounds in evaded and avoided taxes. Only last week the heads of government at the G8 seemed to be waking up to the scale of tax avoidance which is astonishing given that just five years ago it was still a fringe concern of a few left-wing campaign groups and a handful campaigning writers. Read more of this post

A Tale of Two Contracts

Legal Eagle

Contracts

Copyright JK5854s photostream

Fergal:

Fergal is an IT professional with in-demand technical skills; he agreed to tell me about his industry. He spoke to me about `contractors` who are deployed in the IT industry with a contract of employment. The IT industry has for many years recruited `contractors` and they are not entitled to sick pay, paid holiday or pension. However, they enjoy a lot of flexibility and secure excellent wages.

Fergal (who has never worked as a `contractor`) told me `contractors` typically spend between one month and several years working on projects. The number of hours worked is usually in line with permanent staff around 37 hours per week but overtime pay is common.

I asked Fergal about the wage a `contractor` can secure:

A `contractor` undertaking the type of work I carry out (in my permanent role) might expect a daily rate of £350-£500 per day. But some could earn in excess of £1K a day. This would typically be London based and only if the `contractor` has very high in-demand skills, a `contractor` with comparable skills to myself could make excellent money though rates have declined in recent years.  Read more of this post

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