Jimmy Carr and the Tax man | Paul Daniels Magic World

Jimmy Carr and the Tax man

For the past week the press, the government and, of course, other comics have had a field day picking on Jimmy Carr, a comedian whose work I like.

Every time something has been said about it I simply felt like screaming ‘It’s not his fault’.   Nobody has picked on the civil servants who left the legal loophole.  I’ll bet none of them got sacked.    It’s a fair bet that Jimmy isn’t an accountant and probably merely signs whatever his management/accountants says is best for his finances without really understanding the small print.   I know I do, even though I know I have no off-shore accounts at all.

I think the problem is much deeper.    For what it is worth I have long thought that the tax system is totally flawed.     I had best explain that I do not come from a wealthy background.     Despite all the publicity I don’t have oodles of wealth and describe myself as asset rich and cash average.    What follows therefore is not the normal bias from the point of view of the wealthy, I just think it’s common sense reasoning.   It leans towards the socialist view of all people having equal opportunity and being treat equally.

A country costs money to run.   Somebody somewhere must know how much and where the money is going and for what.      Somebody somewhere must also know how much income is earned or coming from investments and how many people are earning it.

Is it really beyond the realms of mathematicians to show one as a percentage of the other?   Surely the only fair tax would be to charge absolutely everyone the same percentage rate of tax.   Those earning nothing would pay nothing.   Those earning a little would pay very little.   Those earning fortunes would pay a LOT but at least with this single rate of tax the amount of office work would be reduced enormously.   I do mean ENORMOUSLY.    All income would be taxed at the source of the income, by the payer, and transferred immediately to the tax office.

As there would be only one tax, and as the country’s expenses would have to be listed clearly, we citizens would realise exactly how much we are paying out.

VAT, which has to be the most ridiculously expensive tax of all time to collect, would disappear.  There would only be income tax on ALL earnings.

At the moment we have SO many hidden taxes people don’t realise what a high percentage of tax they are paying.

There would be no loopholes because the declaration of tax would not be the responsibility of the individual tax payer.

On a lighter note, it was great to enjoy the Jubilee celebrations, especially when Her Majesty came to Henley upon Thames and we went up the river by boat to have a picnic and watch her arrive by boat.   Great day.

5 comments to Jimmy Carr and the Tax man

  • Masterless Magician
    June 27, 2012 at 11:36 am

    Totally agree with you Mr. Daniels. The farther of a good friend of mine was one of the highest Tax inspectors in the land. He used to give speeches and lectures and always opened with the question “Who has an off shore tax account” he would then wait whilst people looked awkward and then raise his own hand. At the time there was nothing illegal about this and he pointed out if the government wanted more money they would have to close loopholes. Unfortunately many of these loopholes were being exploited BY politicians or the companies they worked for, ergo they wouldn’t be shut any time soon. I’m NOT a fan of Jimmy Carr, but I DO feel like screaming when he’s given a hard time,. What he did was LEGAL , what Voderphone are doing to avoid paying hundreds of times MORE than him is ILLEGAL and yet the government said they will be allowed to get away with it.

  • Tim Allen
    June 27, 2012 at 11:49 am

    The equal percentage system sounds good in theory, but it isn’t as fair as it seems. Suppose you had 100 people earning 10,000,000 per year, and 10,000 people earning 10,000 per year. That’s 1100 million altogether. Now suppose the total outgoing is 550 million, i.e. 50%. If everyone gets taxed at 50% the 100 rich people would all take home 5 million a year and the 10,000 poorer ones would only have £5000 a year to live on. That’s why the richer ones have to be taxed more highly

  • A Magic Life
    June 28, 2012 at 8:51 am

    Tim… I don’t work on ‘suppose’. At the moment the rich people are using the system to get out of paying. Companies and individuals are earning vast amounts in this country but the money is going out to where they are based.
    I really believe that rich or poor you should contribute to the expense of the nation and be proud to be part of it.
    If there was only one tax, the retail price of everything that carries ‘invisible’ taxes would drop so the poorer peeps would get a benefit in that.
    It’s the cost of collecting taxes with all the variations and all the claims etc that drives me nuts.

  • Tim Allen
    June 28, 2012 at 12:10 pm

    No, I agree with your main point about Jimmy Carr being given a hard time when he wasn’t doing anything illegal. I just don’t think that taxing everyone at the same rate would work. The example I gave was just to illustrate the concept. Also, if the invisible taxes fall then some other taxes would have to go up in order to compensate. You still have to pay the same amount overall, and you still end up with the kind of situation that I was talking about. One thing I do think is unfair is when you have a fixed penalty system, such as parking fines. A £30 fine is nothing to a rich person, but it’s much more significant to a low earner with no savings.

  • John
    October 21, 2012 at 11:07 am

    First comment – Jubilee, yes great success for the country.

    Now TAX. Who knows their tax-free allowance off the top of their heads. Very few. Who knows their Building Soc is taxed at 20% while they each have a 2000 pound wide income band charged at 10%. Thousands of pensioners who also have ‘tax-paid’ BS a/c s are walking around not realising the Government actually owes THEM money!