Sunday 27 January 2013

Inspector Harry Callahan's advice to GDS

"What's that?", said the punk, pointing at the books in Harry's arms.

This ... punk ... is the UK tax code. The longest and most complicated tax code in the world.

Tolley's Yellow Tax Handbook 2012-13 alone ... you're lookin' at maybe 15,000 pages. This year's Finance Act, last year's and every year's before. Not just the legislation but the tax tribunal decisions and the case law. UK case law and international. And the double tax treaties.

The inspectors have to apply the tax code. To companies and trusts and partnerships and individuals. A good tax inspector knows his or her limitations. They use manuals, manuals to tell 'em what to do, manuals to explain what they've done, manuals those companies and trusts and partnerships and individuals can consult, too, if they wanna. If they're tough.

They're all on the web ... punk. The Beer Guidance Manual, the Gold Manual (VAT), all the way to the Youth Clubs Guidance Manual.

You won a award, punk, for pretty websites. That's good. You think you gotta contribution to make to these here web manuals. HMRC raise about £550 billion a year from them. You think you're gonna add to that? Or maybe bring down the whole house of cards if you mess up? Suits me.

You wanna change those manuals by even one comma when you incorporate them into GOV.UK? Do you feel lucky? Go ahead ... punk ... make my day.


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