HMRC revise their tax gap estimates and fail to mention it one hundred times

I notice today from my hospital bed that HMRC have published their neoliberally misrepresentative “Measuring (dishonestly) Tax Gaps” (not sic).

Of course, this document is a pure work of pure fiction and cannot be relied upon. My own tax gap calculations are proof of that. But even within HMRC’s delusional fantasy world they are woefully inconsistent and dishonest. Continue reading

Murphy’s whereabouts

Hello readers. I am Jill Richards, Murphy’s long-contented wife.

Murphy has asked me to explain his absence from his blog and reassure everyone that he will be continuing his fight for justice for taxes shortly.

Unfortunately, Murphy had an accident three months ago. In the middle of a conversation with our neighbour’s 15 year old son Timothy, he abruptly stepped into the road in front of a bus.

Timothy is considering taking Economics A Level and he has told me that he was simply discussing the Laffer effect with my dear Murphy. Apparently, Murphy had been patiently trying to explain that we don’t need to worry about the Laffer effect because it is unlikely to be measurable in any scenario, rather like the risk associated with crossing a road is unmeasurable.

It is still not clear whether Murphy was somehow trying to illustrate his point or if he was storming off in frustration at the boy’s neoliberal indoctrination, but he suddenly stepped into the road without looking and was instantly knocked down.

Norfolk Green buses have since written to me apologising that, unusually, the number 37 was running on time.

Murphy has remained in a coma until last Sunday when he regained consciousness. He will continue his stay in hospital under observation for the moment.

Whilst the other doctors are as yet unconvinced that he has not suffered serious brain damage, I can assure you that he is his normal self.


Dr Jill Richards

Tax risk and rules of thumb

l was amused at the comments l received yesterday following my post on how l define the difference between tax avoidance and tax planning. Here is some of the post:

I was asked yesterday by a pretty experienced tax journalist how I defined the difference between tax planning and tax avoidance.

“That”, I said “is easy. It’s getting legal opinion.” And I put down the phone.

What did I mean? Well, I meant that the UK tax system is so straightforward and simple that nobody in their right mind would need to get legal opinion unless they were doing something malicious.

Remember, this is how I define tax avoidance. This is not simply some heuristic or intermittent indicator. This is no sloppy rule of thumb.This is how I openly say that I distinguish tax avoidance from tax planning. Not just in passing either. I say this to journalists in my professional capacity. And then I blog about the conversation on my website so that nobody is any doubt that this is what I consider the absolute definition of tax avoidance to be.

In the face of the usual neoliberal outpourings of misunderstandings, l even clarified my view in unambiguous diagramatic format.

Candidly, l cannot imagine how I could have been any more explicit. Many of the normal trolls have been saying that I have said that the definition of the difference between tax avoidance and tax planning is getting legal opinion.

l said no such thing as is readily apparent from my careful choice of words and use of nuance. If anything, what I gave was a heuristic or a useful rule of thumb.

By saying unambiguously that getting legal opinion is the definition of the difference between tax avoidance and tax planning, in a professional capacity to a journalist remember, I was simply expressing the view that tax avoidance may or may not involve getting legal advice, as may tax planning.

Of course, nobody in their right mind would suggest that obtaining legal opinions on tax matters is in anyway indicative of tax avoidance. We have a system of self-assessment where the onus is on the taxpayer to ensure their affairs are taxed correctly. Only some sort of Nazi would suggest that anybody who seeks a legal opinion in performing that task should be identified as morally reprehensible in some way and subject to persecution.

No, l simply stated the rule of thumb that, getting a legal opinion may, or may not, indicate that something is either tax avoidance or tax planning.

Or maybe just tax compliance.

What people don’t understand is that what I expressed is heuristic logic. That means I’ve seen legal opinions obtained in the course of tax avoidance.

Of course, I’ve seen legal opinions obtained not in the case of tax avoidance. But I didn’t say that. I was just talking about legal opinions in relation to the avoidance. I didn’t mention tax planning or, indeed, the difference between tax avoidance and tax planning. So anybody who is saying that l said such things about legal opinion being a distinction is just lying.

If anything, the fact that they are lying and pointing out legitimate non-avoidance uses of legal opinions on taxation just proves my original point because the multitude of examples they cite don’t count.

So, dear sophists, stop making fools of yourselves on the internet by trying to promote your half-baked drivel at every opportunity and just making up stuff on the spot and trying to get it published.

Perhaps you could just try admitting, just for once, that you were talking out of your backside? Yes? Sounds good to me.

Flowchart for our times: are you committing tax avoidance?

For those of you who are obviously still struggling to understand how I define the difference between tax avoidance and tax planning even though I explicitly stated it in unambiguous terms, I have now resorted to drawing you a very simple diagram to illustrate what I so obviously said.

FCFOT tax avoidanceIf you really cannot understand what is meant by this use of plain English:

I was asked yesterday by a pretty experienced tax journalist how I defined the difference between tax planning and tax avoidance.

“That”, I said “is easy. It’s getting legal opinion.”

I really don’t know what else I can say. You obviously do not understand logic at all.

How do I define tax avoidance? My unambiguous answer

I was asked yesterday by a pretty experienced tax journalist how I defined the difference between tax planning and tax avoidance.

“That”, I said “is easy. It’s getting legal opinion.” And I put down the phone. Continue reading

My new report: Some Shady Research

As some of you will be aware, I have recently been the subject of cyber attack by a neoliberal conspiracy.

Unfortunately, it now appears that some of my current research has been stolen and plagiarised by that horrific parody of mine, Richard Murphy. Regrettably, it has been passed off to the UK’s media as legitimate research rather than the cruel joke that it is.

Continue reading

Gary Barlow should have been subject to a GRAPIST

Nobody should really have any concerns about HMRC accessing your bank accounts without the permission of a court. That’s a non-story so let’s talk about Take That instead.

The Take That affair quite obviously illustrates that the current law is insufficient to deal with tax avoidance at all.

Continue reading

The Gini coefficient says that inequality is reducing – so it must be wrong

As any leading expert such as myself will tell you, the most important thing any leading expert must do is rely on facts rather than opinions.

Now, it is has been pointed out to me that the Gini coefficient, which measures distribution of income, indicates that inequality is reducing in the UK. However, this flatly contradicts the fact that inequality is increasing.

We know for certain that inequality is increasing on account of the fact that the view that inequality is increasing is such a popular opinion at present.

Continue reading

An answer to Polly Toynbee’s question

I lift my head from my deathbed to note that Polly Toynbee has asked a particularly intelligent question about the composition of HMRC’s Board:

Why isn’t Murphy on that Board?

There is a very simple answer to that. And it is not that suggested by all the neoliberal trolls beneath Polly’s as-ever-uncriticisable article.

I’ve actually answered that question before, but I would take the time from malingering to remind Polly that the undeniably correct answer is that the people in charge of these things seem to think that I (of all people!) am so professionally inept that I am incapable of being objective and independent.

And that I don’t have any experience whatsoever of being on the board of large organisations.

And that I have numerous personal conflicts of interest due to various lucrative ventures that involve commenting on tax policies.

And that I am not actually suitably qualified, by experience or education, to comment on tax policy or administration of the tax system in any way.

And that I am considered to be a figure of ridicule by actual tax professionals all over the world.

And that my research is really just sub-standard emotive rhetoric that is ignored by all except for the politically disillusioned and economically or logically illiterate.

And that my only real “talent” lies in having no reticence in giving misleading quotes to journalists.


But those are obviously all just straw man arguments being propagated by neoliberals. So I am genuinely confused: what is the real reason?

Should I die tonight…

I am contractually obliged to blog on regular basis by my employers those who graciously  donate to Researches for Taxes UK to fund its charitable work. Unfortunately, I suffer from illness today. So all I can blog about is how ill I am and implore Civil Society to send me sympathy.

On an even more serious note, I should say that it is entirely possible that I am the victim of biological attacks from neoliberals.

If I should not make it through the night, let my last words be noted and put upon my tombstone.


With respect, you are wasting my time

I suggest you buy my book

Murphy Richards (25 December 1955 to 1 April 2014?)