Taking Stock – If you think our Revenue officials are tough …

Last week the English ICA’s tax faculty condemned new proposals to crack down on tax dodgers as shoddy and lacking in credibility. In a letter to government ministers, the tax think-tank urged Whitehall to reconsider plans to implement reforms proposed by Lord Grabiner QC, including a new criminal offence of fraudulently avoiding income tax. But UK tax experts clearly don’t know which side their bread is buttered. The sometimes heavy-handed approach of Inland Revenue officials is nothing compared to that of some overseas tax authorities. Take Pakistan for example. Just last week a businessman was reported to have died after being tied up in chains and questioned over tax evasion. The death caused somewhat of a stink among traders who have claimed a crackdown on tax dodgers was being approached rather too zealously. Police found the body of the trader in a bathroom at tax department offices where he had been taken for questioning. Relatives claim the trader was tortured to death by officials but the tax department denies the allegations.

Related reading