Monday, September 20, 2010

Deputy Director Wither, you're needed in the lobby.

For today's dose of sputtering disbelief, I give you this from Britain:

The UK's tax collection agency is putting forth a proposal that all employers send employee paychecks to the government, after which the government would deduct what it deems as the appropriate tax and pay the employees by bank transfer.
The proposal by Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC) stresses the need for employers to provide real-time information to the government so that it can monitor all payments and make a better assessment of whether the correct tax is being paid.
Nanny State says what? It reminds me of nothing so much as a parent going through their kid's Halloween haul, ostensibly to check for danger, but actually so they can identify and hoark the good stuff. Dad gets the full-size Hershey's with almonds, and Junior's left with a pack of broken Sweet Tarts and two boxes of raisins. Pleas to Mom go unanswered, as she's busy with other things.

On a more serious note, such a scheme would, structurally speaking, put every last wage-earner on the dole. And -- human nature being what it is -- why bother working if you get paid either way? It's yet another move toward keeping the populace complacent and docile by making the fight too hard for all but the truest believers. On the flip side: Should this plan go through, I predict an upsurge in under-the-table employment and cash-only transactions. I know that's what would happen if they tried it on this side of the pond.

I admit to feeling a bit of a thrill when I read about this sort of thing. The more obvious the line becomes, the more convinced I am about which side I joined.


The Jack said...

"[W]hy bother working if you get paid either way?"

There's a solution to this: an employment mandate. A goverment board will deem if someone has permision to not work, those people will get public assitance until they are able to work.

The rest will have to work as part of their duty of supporting the state, and the workers will be happy knowing they're guaranteed a job and state support.

Hmm... this somehow sounds familiar.

Tam said...

Yeah, if this doesn't set someone's warning bells to ringing, it tells me everything I really need to know about that person. Tests don't come much litmusier.

Brad K. said...

I think this is precisely the reason Obama wants everyone doing $600 of business, over the course of the tax year, to have to issue a form 1099, and the reason the IRS now has full access to every banking record. And the reason employers are being forced to automatically deposit paychecks - that lets the government monitor the doling, just like the UK proposal.

Plus, it lets Obama glom onto the cash, under-the-table economy, as cash at one end or the other falls into the bank record cracks, or 1099 gotchas. I wonder how long it will be that you have to register with a grocery store to pay with cash - so they can meet their 1099 requirements, if you buy 600 dollars of groceries there, over the course of a year.

This isn't some far-fetched, Brit type humor gag - Obama is in the midst of implementing the scheme here in the States.

DirtCrashr said...

To me it says that in typical Euroweenie fashion, they really are determined to grow the Black Market, in parallel (or greater-to) the Economic Union. That ensures a healthy and vigorous extra-Governmental system of graft and corruption to compliment the existing internal-Governmental graft and corruption. Vigorish for all!

Joanna said...

I wonder how long it will be that you have to register with a grocery store to pay with cash - so they can meet their 1099 requirements, if you buy 600 dollars of groceries there, over the course of a year.

AFAIK, the 1099 thing is for individual transactions in excess of $600, not combined transactions. Six $100 transactions (again, AFAIK) would not require the form.

Anonymous said...

Sorry Joanna -

1099s are based on the aggregate payments.

I'm a CPA, and this is gonna make every business manager's life pure hell to comply with.

Joanna said...

Well, that's why I added the "As Far As I Know" part. :-) The articles I read on the subject seemed to say that a 1099 would be required for every cash transaction over $600, which I took to mean a separate 1099 for each transaction in addition to the 1099s for aggregate transactions. As I understood it, six $100 purchase would get (1) 1099, but six $600 purchases would get (6) 1099s. Please put me some knowledge if I'm wrong, but that's the information I was going by.