Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
h a l f b a k e r y
I like this idea, only I think it should be run by the government.

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Pay tax in kind

Pay revenue in something other than money
  (+2, -4)
(+2, -4)
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HMRC (tax people) send us various demanding letters making fictitious claims that we file our self-assessment forms late. We're paying the made up fines they charge us because life is too short and to some extent we believe society benefits from the money the government steals from the population. If they were to attempt to carry out their threat to cart off our stuff and sell it, they would be disappointed for two reasons. One is that it would suddenly turn out to have been sold to friends for a peppercorn if they tried, and we can show them receipts, and the other is that even if they took all our stuff and sold it for its original retail value, it wouldn't amount to a fraction of the sum they're pretending we owe.

So, income tax is either theft or slavery. I lean towards the latter. I'm happy to work for the government for a large fraction of my life like most other people, and i do appreciate having sewers, not being murdered in my bed by Mad Max lookalikes and so on. This very much appears to be an "us and them" situation, so i suggest the following:

Below a certain level of debt, rather than paying income tax or so-called "fines", the option should exist for a person to provide the tax office with goods or services of the equivalent value. For instance, rather than paying the five hundred quid they pretend we owe them, i would be willing to do a hundred hours cleaning their toilets or emptying their litter bins. Alternatively, a paper manufacturer might want to provide say five hundred pounds worth of copier paper or loo roll, a furniture manufacturer might want to give them a few desks and chairs, some carpet, a Pilates teacher might provide a free class for the staff for a year and so on. All of this to be considered a notional payment based on some rate below the minimum wage.

The result of this would be less money wasted pursuing people who can't pay who nevertheless recognise the value of the money they demand with menaces to society as a whole, and would make the tax system cheaper to administer. It would also break down barriers between the supposedly faceless bureaucrats and the rest of the population who don't know them, and they are very nice people, as i'm sure you'll agree.

nineteenthly, May 29 2010

why pik? http://legal-dictio...com/Payment+in+kind
govt s will sell for cash and then buy it back. [popbottle, Sep 23 2014]

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       It's hard to win the game when your opponents make the rules. It would also be nice if casinos changed the odds to give punters a better chance of breaking the bank.
mouseposture, May 29 2010

       You clean loos for a fiver an hour? Get over here now, I have a job for you.
MaxwellBuchanan, May 29 2010

       //faceless bureaucrats// If you cleaned toilets would you be a faeces-less bureaucrat?
xenzag, May 29 2010

       //faeces-less bureaucrats// Oxymoron.
mouseposture, May 29 2010

       I don't clean loos for a fiver an hour. I'm deliberately setting the equivalent below minimum wage in order than the Inland Revenue get at least their money's worth. I doubt i could get anyone to pay me for cleaning toilets. I do it for free in my own house, the same as most people do.
nineteenthly, May 29 2010

       OK, 5.50 but that's my top rate. Then you can give the Inland Revenue their fiver AND make a 10% profit.
MaxwellBuchanan, May 29 2010

       // I do it for free in my own house//   

       Hang on....what would be the implications of advertising for a cook, a cleaner, a gardener, a childminder and a looperson, and then taking the jobs oneself? What happens if you pay yourself a fiver an hour for working for yourself? Does it then become tax deductible from your income? Twice?
MaxwellBuchanan, May 29 2010

       I feel you.
A few years ago my wife and I donated to a charity where people pool their money in order to ship computers to third world countries. After enough people were on board our government disallowed the donations and so everyone is out that money and now they are demanding tax on the income.
At least twice in the past they have siezed my savings account over mistakes that they've made.

       Here's the kicker; we legally don't have to pay income tax in Canada. We unknowingly volunteer it to fund the WW2 effort when we fill out a TD1 form for our first pay checks.   


       Thanks, [fries]. I don't really get compromise, which i think must be what that's about: they consider that it serves a greater good to stick rigidly to the rules. I also wonder what writing a letter with exactly the information they require but refusing to fill in a tax return on the actual form itself would do.   

       I should also point out that the things should be offered at cost price.
nineteenthly, May 29 2010

       Up until a couple of years ago you could do just that here. Fill out your personal info, stuff your T4's in the envelope and ship it and they were required to do the work.   

       Several years ago they implemented a 'temporary' goods and services tax (gst) of 5% which we are required to collect and remit quarterly for them. Now they've decided to amalgamate it into the provincial tax with the permanent Harmonized sales tax (hst), up it to 7%. Exceptions on things like kids clothes and food would no longer apply then you see.   

       The cows are restless.   

       //i would be willing to do a hundred hours cleaning their toilets or emptying their litter bins//   

       I suspect HMRC would consider that comparable to 'working' for 5 GBP per hour and then would expect to collect income tax on the 500 GBP 'earned'. You'd need to work another 20 hours to make up the further 100 GBP tax collectable, then a further 4 hours to make up the 20 GBP due on those earnings, and then another 48 minutes for another 4 GBP. Thankfully HMRC has a policy of rounding down income to whole pounds so the recursion stops eventually.   

       I believe there's also a set of rules in place concerning 'benefits in kind' which might be used to monetise anything you suggest as barter and then to calculate a tax demand.   

       //It would also break down barriers between the supposedly faceless bureaucrats and the rest of the population who don't know them//   

       It could equally create animosity when HMRC declare that your (undocumented, unverified and unproven) cleaning skills are not worth the 5 GBP per hour you're suggesting and try to negotiate 200 hours, or 400.
Tulaine, May 29 2010

       The problem with this is that people would vastly overprice their services. For example, could a lawyer do pro bono work, figure out what he would have billed if he had been on the clock, and then deduct that sum as a charitable donation? Not in the US he cannot.
bungston, Sep 24 2014

       No, but your lawyer could do the work at his standard rate & bill them for it, then make a payroll donation to them for the same amount and your taxable income will be reduced by the amount of the donation*.

*Other financial advisers are available**.

** But not as cheap!
DrBob, Sep 24 2014


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