Let's talk about us and them, let's talk about all the good things, and the bad things that may be, let's talk about tax.
Shall we? We might as well. I mean everyone and their dog in this country is currently devoting an exceptional amount of time to extracting their toys from their prams on this one. So come along, let's talk about tax.
Fucking Starbucks! How much money do you make? Seriously? I didn't even know numbers went that high! And how little of it are you taxed on? And you Apple, I don't care how shiny you've managed to make your product, or how much I'm over come with lust of a horny Sex Panther just to set eyes on your latest shiny shiny thing, pay some damn tax! As for you Jimmy Carr, oh how dare you not pay much tax via an entirely lawful system. You utter utter bastard.
That sounds about right doesn't it? All of these people screwing over us poor worker bees who have to pay our taxes like good little boys and girls. Look how hard done by we are. Look at our worried little angry heads. LOOK AT US!
Except for the fact that that's complete crap. Because literally none of us are paying any attention to the reality of what we're doing.
No, we don't all earn Jimmy Carr's salary, or make Hyper Global Mega Corp levels of profit. But every, single, one, of us, is at it in the best way we know how.
Lets see shall we?
Do you have an ISA? Interesting. So, how guilty do you feel about that £5640 a year in tax free savings?
Were you a Student? Did you have a part time job? A part time job where you're taxed NOTHING at all on your salary?
Did you buy a house over the past couple of years? Your first house? That's interesting. Did you take advantage of the Stamp Duty holiday? Interesting. I know I did. That's approximately £3500.00 I didn't pay in tax. At all. And I don't even have to in the future either. And you can't have it. Ever. I like to think it's come straight out of the big pot of cash that was ear marked for providing puppies that would cuddle up to poor children keeping them warm at night.
How about the army of contractors out there? I know bloody tonnes of them! These are the people who have no option but to set themselves up as their own businesses as part of the process of getting work. You all know that they can claim the tax back on their travel to work every day right? That's an average of between £1250 - £2000 a year in London, and there's that £1300 per year food allowance, that, yup, they can claim tax back on too! And I'm not even mentioning anyone else who's self employed writing various things off as business costs. Or maybe they just have separate PCs, Cars etc that they use for non-business reasons, so that's probably fine.
Pensions, we all need them right? And if you work for, well, most businesses really, you can pay into yours via a salary sacrifice system. What's that then? Well, it takes the money out of your PRE-tax pay, to maximise your input, while reducing the amount of tax paid on the rest of your pay.
But I'm sure none of you have any of these things do you.
Because then you'd have to think about how committed to this premise you really are.
Then you'd have to ask yourselves are you actually angry that some people have gotten lucrative tax systems, or are you angry that yours isn't as lucrative? You made your decisions in life, you decided on your career path, you decided on the effort you made, you decided on if you wanted to sacrifice A for B. So don't you dare sit there and complain about it when people more successful than you have more money than you.
Tax, is doesn't have to be taxing.
Update - 08-11
So, apparently nobody gets the point here at all, and thinks that this is entirely literal in it's comparison between Joe Average and Starbucks. Apparently you think, that I think that a company making billions is actually being measured against someone making thousands. So, in an effort to spell this out just a little bit more allow me to explain.
What I'm getting at is very simple. Every single person is avoiding paying tax as much as is humanly possible for them. Christ, even on our death beds we're being creative with our estates to ensure that we avoid paying as much inheritance tax as is possible. In short this is a national past time that we are all doing to the best of our ability. We might not be as good at is as the Greeks are, but believe me, we're damn well trying.
The simple fact of the matter is what everyone is actually annoyed about is that other people are avoiding paying more tax than they themselves are avoiding, and given half a chance they'd all be doing it too. Because, quite clearly, we all think tax avoidance is fine, just so long as we can only do as much as your knowledge of the system allows. Heaven forbid we should pay someone with more knowledge to do a better job of it. Just imagine what the world would be like if people were paid to do work based on their ability? Fucking mental!
So, finally, why, when we've collectively engineered a society that tries to avoid paying tax in anyway possible, are we surprised when that's EXACTLY what happens?