Here is the text of a letter I wrote to HMRC yesterday, requesting a meeting to discuss paying less tax.
My request follows the example offered by Goldman Sachs: if they can negotiate lower taxes over lunch, I don’t see why I shouldn’t be able to do so. Clearly, the government’s talk of austerity etc. can’t be right if large amounts of tax can be waived over a lunch, and so we should all be able to pay less tax than the calculations offered by tax officials and accountants suggest.
I am, of course, very happy to pay my fair share of taxes, but the word ‘share’ is key: it presupposes that others will also pay their fair share. If they are allowed to pay less, then I should be allowed to do so too.
National Insurance number: XXXXXXXXX
Following recent news reports, I am writing to request a reconsideration of my tax affairs.
I understand that representatives of the Goldman Sachs bank recently arranged a lunch with the director of HMRC and negotiated lower tax payments for themselves. If such high-income entities are permitted to pay less tax on the basis of a lunch with the director of HMRC, clearly the government does not need as much tax income as both the media and my tax liabilities in recent years have led me to believe it does.
The basis of the UK’s taxation system is loosely based on a progressive ideal – higher incomes result in higher taxes and lower incomes result in lower taxes. Therefore, if a high-income entity like Goldman Sachs is entitled to pay less tax than the relevant calculations suggest they should, it is only logical that I will also be entitled to pay less tax than the relevant calculations indicate. Presumably HMRC will want to treat all taxpayers fairly and you will therefore be inclined to acquiesce to my request for lower tax liabilities; this means we simply need to come to an agreement about the new level of taxes I should now be paying. Following the Goldman Sachs example, I presume we should discuss this over a lunch, and I am therefore writing to arrange this.
I should point out that as I am in full-time employment, on PAYE, and earn less than the 40% higher-tax threshold, my tax affairs have hitherto been fairly simple. As I expect the director of HMRC to be very busy with the complex tax affairs of high-income individuals and companies taking up most of his lunch-times, I would not expect him to be able to meet with me personally.
However, I would be happy to meet with another representative of HMRC to discuss reducing my taxes. Also, as my tax affairs are so straightforward, I would tentatively like to suggest that a full lunch might not be necessary: a quick coffee and cake would probably allow sufficient time to discuss the reduced taxes I would like to be paying in the coming year. Whilst this would free up HMRC staff to engage more fully with other taxpayers, if HMRC policy is that such arrangements can only be discussed over a lunch, I am happy to identify a suitable (vegetarian) establishment.
Please contact me to arrange a meeting. It would suit me rather well if we could meet before mid-February, and, of course, I would be most grateful if a meeting could be arranged near to where I live.
I should add that I imagine some of my friends and colleagues might be interested in making similar arrangements. I am therefore posting the text of this letter to my blog, and would expect to post your response and the outcome of our meeting online too. Perhaps this will help them in arranging their reduced tax liabilities.
I look forward to hearing from you.
I look forward to seeing what, if anything, comes of this – and I intend to post responses from HMRC on this website.