We’re so not in this together

Gaurdian

All in it together….unless of course we opt-out of UK taxation and manage our tax affairs through a Panamanian company which we own through bearer shares.

Jolly wheezes for the boys

For the past few weeks , Britain has been entertained by Dickie Roper, the all too plausible friend of the great and the good who (fictionally) enjoys the proceeds of crime while children die in the pall of Napalm his company peddles (Night Manager in case you missed it).

Now we see the real thing as literally millions of documents are put in the public domain by a yet to be revealed hacker. These Panamanian companies are not victimless. While David Cameron’s school fees were being paid, many poor people were being taxed. Many decent people – like the Imprudent Accountant featured below, contributed to society on the basis that he was in it together. Here’s some of what he wrote on Accounting Web yesterday  in “Mossack Fonseca- pay your damn tax”.

Am I the only accountant who is not particularly surprised about suggestions that the odd accountant across the globe might have been helping the super-rich to become super-richer?

From initial reports, it sounds as if the Panamanian leak could lead to prosecutions around the world with professionals, their clients and associates facing years of hell and then long prison sentences.

Well, it’s about time. Tax is our nation’s lifeblood and accountants earn enough to pay their fair share. Those who use scams like this to rip off the rest of us will now have to reap what they’ve sown. Whether they are British or foreign doesn’t make any difference. They should be paying tax at a decent rate somewhere.

It can only be a matter of time before much more detailed implications leak out. At the moment, it sounds as if everyone from Vladimir Putin to his Icelandic equivalent and football officials might be asked to answer some rather embarrassing questions. That is just day one.

Bearing in mind that Mossack Fonseca is only the fourth biggest provider of offshore services in the world, I wonder how long it will take for the authorities to take collective action against their three bigger brethren.

Surely it is only a matter of time before David Cameron and those of his global colleagues who do not end up losing their jobs as a result of this scandal take action.

One possible consequence is the recovery of billions in fraudulently evaded tax in the UK alone. If that is the case, not only could we save British Steel (as is likely to be renamed) but also the health service and so much else that is going horribly wrong in our impecunious country.

Like Dickie Roper, the characters exposed on Panorama last night are charming , urbane and quite without a social conscience. They are the pariahs who keep hospitals understaffed and the food banks busy. You see them demonstrating largesse at charity balls (tickets paid for from offshore bank accounts).


 

You don’t have to be a crook to be successful – as I’m finding out today

Today I will be attending the Transparency Task Force Team’s Day, which will be calling on more fund managers (As Neil Woodford has done this week) to desert bad practice and manage our money with an eye to greater fairness.

An architect of greater fairness , Gregg McClymont is launching his book and I’ll be meeting him and his capable #2 Andy Tarrant later in the day.

I’d planning to spend my retirement  with Gregg and Andy Tarrant and Andy Agethangelou rather than with Dick Roper- thanks all the same!

In the meantime I will (even more parochially) be collecting all the emails I have received from marketing companies offering me money to post fake reviews on other people’s websites and host fake reviews of other people’s products on this website. The CMA is exposing this fraud and running its own investigation.

This blog has never accepted money for advertising or endorsing or even mentioning anyone’s product or service. While it isn’t a multi-million pound opportunity, I’d like to think those who read this blog appreciate it as my views and my views alone. When I endorse – and I endorse a lot – it is because the endorsement is helping restore confidence in pensions.

cropped-playpensnip1.png


 

Expulsion

Most of this white collar crime is from  types who regard the rules of the game as not for them. They are above paying tax. I saw this arrogance at first hand when I was at public school in Dorset. I saw boys buying vodka fags and condoms for the super-rich. The Dickie Ropers too lazy  to go to Blandford themselves. I bet Mossack Fonseca is full of these “runners”.

Despite the corrupt and semi-corrupt practices of these leaches on our society who use our roads and hospitals but choose to do so “tax-free”, most people in this country pay their tax and do so because they are proud of what those taxes pay for.

I would happily pay a little more tax to see those who have cheated us, hounded out the country. For those who don’t have respect for the school rules, should be expelled. I don’t just point at those who bring the cigarettes and alcohol into school, I mean those who pay them and screw everything up.

Cigarettes and alcohol

To finish – here’s OASIS, posing a right moral dilemma

“you can wait for a lifetime

– to find yourself in the sunshine.

You might as well do the white lines”

If you follow the logic of the Panamanian fraudsters that is!

About henry tapper

Founder of the Pension PlayPen, Director of First Actuarial, partner of Stella, father of Olly . I am the Pension Plowman
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3 Responses to We’re so not in this together

  1. George Kirrin says:

    Well said, Henry.

    As I watched the property developer or the “entrepreneurs” on Panorama who were being accused of using some of these offshore practices, I realised that none of them would have been out there without so-called professional advisers coming up with such solutions to feed their greed.

    Both parties seem culpable to me, although the professions tend to hide behind their closed doors, whether onshore or offshore.

  2. henry tapper says:

    Thanks George, that was one of the points of writing this – thanks too to the Imprudent Accountant, we need more of his/her kind!

  3. ‘Only the little people pay taxes’ so said Leona Helmsley in the the 1980’s, the decade when rampant greed became, well rampant.

    As Henry and George have pointed out though, some bright eyed, bushy tailed professional adviser has a army of the same trawling through legislation to find legal and and frankly illegal ways to avoid paying taxes. I was always taught that taxes are the price you pay for society – this sordid story, and what’s to come, has done nothing to change my mind.

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