The leftward and other blatherings of Span (now with Snaps!)

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

dream job pays dividends

Apparently rich people aren't paying all the tax they ought to, what a surprise!

Now whenever there are stats released about benefit fraud they make the front page (nevermind that they include mistakes and overpayments by WINZ as well as actual fraud), but this little gem from the Herald was buried below the fold somewhat later in the paper, with no snazzy graphic. I'd be interested to hear how much coverage it is getting elsewhere (I heard it on Morning Report too, where it even got an associated interview).

Good to see my dream job is bringing home the bacon.

16 comments:

STC said...

I posted on this as well.

I think some business people decided they were going to unilaterally cut their taxes - probably because they see Haliburton and Co being given taxpayers money overseas, and feel like a precedent has been set.

Aaron Bhatnagar said...

Maybe just make taxes lower so they don't bother with complex trusts and avoidance plans. Has worked in the past....

span said...

now aaron wouldn't that be rewarding criminal behaviour?

Aaron Bhatnagar said...

Not at all. The purpose of IRD is to maximise revenue within what the law allows. Public policy should be written in such way that both maximises gvoernment revenue as well as allowing people to prosper, as well as encouraging people to be incentivised to comply with the law.

Besides which, it would seem that tax avoidance is a crime to you. Structuring your affairs so that you pay less tax within what the law allows is not illegal. I think you need to understand the law about tax a little better. It is tax evasion which is illegal - or the deliberate structuring of ones financial affairs so that you break the law.

Or does the Alliance simply wish to rape the rich of their hard-gotten gains regardless of good public policy or what the law allows?

WeetBixKid said...

Pardon the intrusion here, span, but you asked WeetBixKid a question on prison sentences over at aaron's. I answered, and in turn asked you a question. I was wondering if you might return the courtesy.

Idiot/Savant said...

Aaron: tax avoidance isn't a crime - but tax evasion is. And people structuring their affairs to minimise tax should be damn sure they don't cross the line (as these people did).

WeetBixKid said...

Don't worry, aaron. Yes, that is exactly what you said.

Aaron Bhatnagar said...

Well that's what I thought I said. But I'm sure that Idiot/Savant merely hoped that I had shown ignorance about taxation. It would be nice if he admitted that I had gotten it right in the first place.

Idiot/Savant said...

Aaron: What you didn't point out is that what these people were doing constituted evasion, not avoidance. Though given the complexity of the legal shenanigans the rich engage in to avoid taxes, it's often difficult to tell the difference - which is precisely why IRD nees to take a hard line in examining these schemes.

CutFoldGlue said...

Structuring your affairs so that you pay less tax within what the law allows is not illegal.

Wait, so you mean that abiding by the law is not illegal? Wow!

Pity these people didn't abide by the law, otherwise you might have a point, no matter how circular your reasoning.

Aaron Bhatnagar said...

They might have thought that they were abiding by the law, but the IRD may have sought a determination and then used this determination to apply to them and others in similar positions.

MikeE said...

Rich people not paying enough tax = people are not giving enough of money they WORKED for to those who choose not to.

Benifit fraud = people making fraudulent misrepresentation to get money that they have not earned, from those who have earned it and had it taken from them by force (ie tax).

Yeah Spanblather, "Rich" not paying tax is soooo much worse than benifit fraud.

Those benifiting from the 33% of my wages every week are sooo hard done by.

Cathy Odgers said...

I have posted on this span.

http://cathyodgers.blogspot.com/2005/10/ird-hunting-down-rich.html

It may be your "dream job" to catch these people but it ain't anyone who is half worth their salt in the tax/trust industry.

Now of course if they paid on commission of $ gained back they may have a chance of attracting staff to the job who had half a clue...

Until then the IRD rely on breaking laws themselves to access information and as has previously been pointed out here there is a complete lack of understanding between criminal and civil illegalities in the departments.

Anonymous said...

AB "They might have thought that they were abiding by the law, but the IRD may have sought a determination and then used this determination to apply to them and others in similar positions."

Yes it seems likely to me that when these people try to AVOID paying tax and are actually EVADING paying tax that it was all just a big mistake, just like all the cases where the country's wealthiest people, by mistake end up paying more tax than they need to.

Monkeys also fly out of my butt.

Anonymous said...

mikee "Rich people not paying enough tax = people are not giving enough of money they WORKED for to those who choose not to. "

could also be defined as follows:

Rich people not paying enough tax = people are not giving enough of money they earned from their employees work, to those who need support from their society.

Suppose this could be summed up in one word. "Greed"

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