Taking Stock - Tax man getting toughski in Russia.
If you are ever tempted to believe the grass may be greener on the other side; bear in mind the contrasting attitudes of tax investigation in the UK compared to Russia.
While Customs & Excise officials recently revealed it is set to replace its tough adversarial nature of fraud investigation with a more conciliatory approach – the Russian tax police have opened a cadet school in Moscow to train children as young as ten, how to be gun-toting tax inspectors.
The move in Russia is part of a campaign to produce a generation of law-abiding civil servants in a country where tax evasion is almost a national sport.
As a result gun practice, parachuting and martial arts are set to become compulsory for students who enrol, in a bid to demonstrate the increasingly militarised tax police.
Meanwhile, back in the UK, the new procedures will replace formal investigations with an invitation to traders to disclose their unpaid VAT in return for a reduced penalty.
How civilised. Anyone for Pimms?