21 Days, Tax Havens, Evasion and Cuts

Happy Bank Holiday to the UK.

We find ourselves with only 21 days to go and we have reached 15% funding. Again, We must thank all our pledgers, donators and supporters on Twitter, Facebook and offline as well – Thank You for joining this movement for education, pragmatic land reform and fairer taxation. 

For more information about the project and our crowd fund, please read our FAQ section or click on the link below:

http://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/investment/the-taxing-question-of-land-value-1905

Today we want to turn our attention to tax havens and why Land Value Tax is a solution.  For information about Tax havens, enjoy this short video from http://www.tackletaxhavens.com/

Around the globe, as much as $18 Trillion is held far from the reach of taxation by the global elite in offshore banks. For some scale, the GDP of America is $14 .58 Trillion.

Whilst it is worth remembering that the UKs entire public debt is a tenth of this at $1.85 Trillion, we need to understand how much UK tax evasion there is.

According to HMRC, tax evasion in 2010-11 was £15 billion

That amount is larger than the total saved by the following cuts:

NHS (£800million)

Arts Council (£100million)

Education (£2 billion)

Business Innovation and Skills (£1.5 billion)

Communities and Local Government (£5 billion)

Energy and Climate Change (£2 billion)

Police (£400 million)

Some consider the HMRC prediction to be modest.

Tax evasion costs the UK £69 Billion according to Richard Murphy of Tax Research UK.  The government says it will tackle the evasion but is also shedding HMRC staff under the rational of necessary cuts to the public purse.

So on one hand, the government is making bold claims about it’s attempt to reduce tax evasion, whilst also making the point that fighting tax evasion is too expensive by cutting HMRC’s headcount.

However easy income tax is to collect via PAYE, it’s too cumbersome and expensive to control at any other level. Add that to the growing opportunities to avoid tax by playing global systems - it’s costing the UK every which way.

We do have another option. Land Value Tax offers the opportunity to create a more efficient tax system, making it cheap to collect and hard to avoid.

One of the many brilliant by-products of Land Value Tax is that it is so efficient and easy to collect. Land is registered, valued, and the tax collected annually. This allows other taxes to be reduced or replaced.

In towns and states where Land Value Tax (or equivalent systems) have been introduced, other taxes have been reduced or dropped entirely.  

If some taxes are easily avoided, the efficient answer is to cut or drop them.  Unlike income, land cant be hidden it in offshore banks, it literally can only be part of the shores that makes up the nations’ land mass.

Companies wouldn’t hide their money, wouldn’t be responsible for collecting the majority of the nation’s taxes, could hire and develop more staff, and the entire tax avoidance industry would become redundant. For HMRC, the burden of spending huge amounts on administration to chase impossible-to-collect funds could reallocate resources to a much-streamlined service, collecting an efficient and pragmatic tax.

In this BBC news interview from 2011 (below) the BBC introduces the issue as “finding a tax which is cheap to collect, hard to avoid and doesn’t discourage people from earning more.”