Persecuting Rich Pricks. An ABC of Ignobility from OBE to IRD.

Mark Hubbard's picture
Submitted by Mark Hubbard on Mon, 2012-06-18 05:40

From best of Life Behind the IRon Drape:

Cactus has had a glance at this, but I want to highlight the philosophical menace of the immorality reported by Granny Herald over the weekend, because it’s a certainty the MSM will never get to it, and it’s important. Look at what we do to the people who pay for this increasingly violent, second hander society:

‘New Zealand's richest people have paid more than $500 million in extra tax after an Inland Revenue crackdown.
IRD investigators have unravelled the complex tax affairs of individuals who have, or control, more than $50 million each to ensure they pay their fair share of tax. … Since the unit was set up in 2003, it has collected $467 million.’

Don't hold me to the following figures, as I'm too depressed to go confirm the stats somewhere on my hard disk, but this group of, to quote a former finance minister (the one who didn't believe in knighthoods, then took one), this group of 'rich pricks' form part of the 19% of taxpayers that pay 86% of the tax take. In a civilised country you might think a thank you would be in order, but not in our social democracies: no, what we've done is have IRD set up an elite group of pricks to deal to them, and citing ‘fairness’ of all contradictory things. Aren’t they already paying more than their fair share? I don't know what the group is known as, in-house, though I suspect it rhymes with Gestapo, but if you show the initiative to make it onto New Zealand's rich list, unlike the two-faced politician with his knighthood, the one thing guaranteed is that you will earn a series of visits from them. Indeed, your privacy will be totally invaded, your life will be turned inside out, and if your accountant has got some part of our income tax legislation wrong - and Cactus is right, this is as likely to be bad or worrisomely common retrospective tax law, as ‘cheating’ - then you may well lose a house.

If I can get more than 370 followers on Twitter, I think I'm going to start a movement for transparency in politics; given the only thing I've seen a Western politician do, for years now, is decry the selfishness of rich pricks, my first recommendation will be that all taxpayers with the cheek to have worked eighty hour weeks and taken the risks necessary to be worth fifty million dollars - and despite that in earning this they have delivered goods and services that will have improved the standards of living of all of us - I'm going to recommend they be forced to wear something in public to identify them, IRD shouldn’t be the only ones with access; perhaps a little yellow dollar sign on their lapels, so that we can spit at these brazen scapegoats in the street. We want what they've got, and in fairness, the IRD better take it from them. They're even so selfish as to think the state shouldn't decide how and on whom their money is spent.

Hang on, I need a wine to steady my anger down to rant, again (a wine which, with the excise taxes, I've probably paid fifty percent more than I would have had to in an actual free market. Dashwood Sauvignon, Marlborough, by the way, currently best buy for those who've blown the wine budget)


IRD hold compliance meetings every year, the last one I attended was three years ago where the department's chief commissar in charge of persecution/compliance, a Wellingtonian, of course, was bragging at how he loved using 'private sector assets against the private sector.' Those, remarkably, were his exact words. At the time I thought this very confrontational for a man whose wages were paid by the tax slavery of private sector risk takers, as I didn't think this was supposed to be a ‘them and us’ war. And, frankly, I didn't think it was very nice. In that instance he was talking about how IRD were mining the Waikato University benchmarking database; a database to which small business gives it's data freely - with a good faith now thrown back in their faces - so that they may obtain in return information to help them run their businesses better. The commissar was awfully pleased with himself that from the database they'd extracted the profit a painter should make on a litre of paint, and they were about to launch their blitzkrieg, demanding to know why, recession aside - which IRD audit know nothing of - each poor sod painter might not have made his quota of profit on his paint purchases for the year, with the intention, I assume, to levy tax on any difference ... if you remember, I've already written on where the burden of proof lies in a tax case. Anyway, that finished it for me, I've never been back to a compliance meeting for fear I might break someone, sorry, something. Instead I have simply been getting morose about my job, fearful of the consequence of getting it wrong, sleeping with my professional indemnity policy, and scaling back by asking some of my bigger clients to please go elsewhere. I'm over it, it’s not living, and I'm looking around me, with purpose, for something else that’s actually satisfying.

Unfortunately my advocacy of laissez-faire capitalism - noting the crony capitalism we have is to capitalism what sea horses are to horses - has never been about money; it's only ever been about that wonderful, evolutionary thing that capitalism, and only capitalism, is based on - the voluntary transaction. I'm a freedom freak: peace baby, the true sixties legacy, not those suited communists in the Greens Party whose every policy is the advocacy of force. Only on the voluntary transaction can there be a voluntary, free society. I said unfortunately because this has meant that while I'm comfortable, I'm not rich enough to build a space station. That's what I would do if I had money in real quantity. I'd build a space station and remove myself from the ugly, brute society we've created for ourselves, yet again. As generation text say, 'I'd be outa here'.

And unsurprisingly, they are - getting 'outa here'. There is a currently a prudent migration of the rich. The socialists’ Hollande in France, and Obama in the US, have been the best thing for the economies of Asia, where many of these wise ones are escaping to. I've heard the exodus of the rich from the taxing banning Mayor Bloomberg of New York is reaching biblical proportions. And so it should. The West is collapsing under a Keynesian hubris of debt, and the rot's so deep because it's philosophical, meaning there is no longer a fix. I give as proof of this, over there, that drunken youth, beer bottle in hand, slouching down the street, his bum hanging out of his pants. For myself, I can't escape, I've got domestic responsibilities, so the best I can do is perhaps learn to play the fiddle. For any IRD investigators reading this, note the 'the' in that, and fiddle as in burning. Don't go bringing my file up, I'm as scared of you as I would be of the Gestapo Smiling

James Delingpole...

Marcus's picture right on.

He wrote this in the DT.

Jimmy Carr's credibility is toast

"I can think of at least two differences between me and the brilliantly funny, heroically near-the-knuckle comedian and satirist Jimmy Carr. One is that I don't earn in excess of £3.3 million a year. And the other is that in the unlikely event that I ever did and were – very sensibly - to channel it through an elaborate Jersey tax avoidance scheme, I could do so without the slightest stain on my conscience or my credibility.

Why? Because, as I make perfectly clear in every article I ever write on the subject, I believe that tax is legalised theft and that earners have a sacred duty to stop as much money as they (legally) can getting into the filthy hands of Big Government, because it will only go and spend it on something completely useless. It doesn't matter whether someone is an entrepreneur like my brilliant brother Charlie (of Market Invoice) or a hugely talented comic like Carr, they make important contributions to the British economy because they create value and add to the economic growth from which the whole nation benefits. Their reward, therefore, for their talent and risk should be to keep as much of the fruits of their labour as they reasonably can, consistent with their duty to help fund the basic external costs of defending their liberties – eg defence of the realm, property rights, etc.

But imagine how much of a hypocrite you'd have to be to put your money through a (perfectly legal) tax avoidance scheme, when you had earned that money in sketches like this one from Channel 4's relentlessly Left-wing 10 O'Clock Live:

Last year on Channel 4 Jimmy Carr took on Barclays for carrying out a tax-avoidance scheme. Carr donned a blonde wig to play a female bank clerk. ‘Why don’t you apply for the Barclays’ 1 per cent tax scam,’ she announced to her customers. ‘You will need the world’s biggest, most aggressive team of blood-hungry amoral tax lawyers. If you meet the criteria, you’ll pay 1 per cent tax, like Barclays do.’

How could you live with your conscience? How could you face your fans?"


Mark Hubbard's picture

One of my favourite Brit comedians, Jimmy Carr, just done for tax avoidance. Hah! Can't post link on my iPad, will do so in the morning.

Yes the Mainstream argument...

Marcus's picture that the rich pay a lower percentage of tax. Strangely enough those same politicians don't consequently argue the PAYE system unfair because higher earners are expected to pay a higher percentage of income tax.

This "rich" bashing is going on amongst the politicial classes in all countries presently, even the US, believe it or not. Economic hard times make politicians turn to rich people as scape goats rather than turning the finger upon themselves.

There are many tricks to evade tax and politicians know that, in fact, use themselves. That's where their dumb hypocrisy comes in. It's about time the wealthy told politicians to go fuck themselves.

Yes, I liked that line.

Mark Hubbard's picture

Yes, I liked that line. Rodney has had an epiphany since being 'squashed' out of Parliament ... bit late now, but yes, writing some good articles.

I'm against compulsory taxes, period ... damn, sausages burning .. what's your favourite tipple Muddle-Man?

Oh ... doing battle with the Trotsky'ite now Smiling http://lifebehindtheirondrape....

Rodney's figure was we're each paying $18,000: well if I look at my tax bills, there must be an awful lot of people paying nothing.

Shit, smoke ...

Keynesian hubris of debt

Damien Grant's picture

Nice line that, Mr Hubbard.

My economics training tells me the most efficient form of tax is a poll tax. The total needs of the state is divided between the tax payers and we all must pay this single amount.

Economists like it because an income tax based on marginal income reduces the incentive to work. A poll tax means you keep one hundred percent of what you earn, so you work more; the "deadweight loss" is eliminated.

I liked it for that but also for the fairness of it. Sir Robert Jones uses the same amount of state services as me, (roads, police, air traffic regulations), why should he pay more tax than me?

I also liked the idea that taxes, like rates, get sent out once a year as an invoice. Makes the cost a lot more explicit.

Rodney Hide wrote in the NBR some time back stating how effective paye and others was at hiding the true cost of tax.

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