October 20, 2009
Penguins And Tax Collectors
You have no doubt heard the old joke.
"What do penguins and tax collectors have in common?"
"They can both shove their bills up their arse".
It was funny back in the day.
Three weeks ago I advised them to do exactly that. Lawfully. And for any solicitors looking in, I am covered legally as well.
There is a long story here, but I know you are all pushed for time. Blogs to read, meals to eat, nannies to ignore and whatnot, so I will give you the short version.
I have been late filing my company accounts, and, as a wee thank you, HMRC keep sending me little presents in the post. Each gift is a fine of £100. I have received two and they insist that I pay them £200. Well, knowing what I know about income tax (all forms of tax, actually), I really did not want to send them £200. No human being was hurt because I was late filing my accounts. No human being suffered loss as a result. I have committed no crime yet I have been found guilty and punished by some faceless bureaucrat. I can afford to send them £200 but the principle of it really winds me up.
Three weeks ago I wrote, in red ink between two lines that I had drawn across the giro-slip, "Accepted For Value By Draftee" and underneath that I wrote (again in red), "Exempt From Levy", and I added my National Insurance Number next to the words "Exemption I.D" and my signature in blue ink. I filled in the cash box with the figure of £200.00.
I have heard nothing from them. Not a sausage.
One of my pals in the Freeman Movement gave me several methods for NOT paying this ridiculous bill, but I wanted to try the Accepted For Value (AFV) method. I wanted to know for myself if it works.
According to the Bankruptcy Act 1869 and the Bills of Exchange Act 1882, everything I have done is lawful. I have acted honourably.
That doesn't mean that they will like it. Each and every one of us can do this without losing a wink of sleep. Using AFV, we are simply using their rules. Remember: every statute MUST provide the remedy within it. I have used both the Bankruptcy Act (the country is bankrupt, not me) and the Bills of Exchange Act together, but, crucially, I did not explain myself to HMRC. I simply added my words to the giro-slip and popped it in the post. I did not add a letter to go along with it. Someone, somewhere, perhaps near the top of the totem pole knows that I have carried out a lawful act, and that is why I do not expect to hear back from them. If I do it will be along the lines of..."In this particular instance Mr Ranty, we have decided to cancel out the two late filing penalty charges" or some such waffle.
If this method does happen to fail, I have several other options in my arsenal and I will use them all until they leave me be. I also have a Corporation Tax bill heading my way around the end of the year. They will demand about £3,000 and again, they will receive bugger all. My pal told me that he made a bill for £32,000 go away with one simple letter. My £3K should be a walk in the park.
I really shouldn't say this, but I find this truly exhilarating. For the last 31 years I have been forking over money to these people for no good reason. It stops now. The economy will still benefit as I will have more spending power, more disposable income. I will spend the money they don't coerce from me in my local community, thereby helping to ensure that local people stay employed, and do not become a drain on our benefits system.
I consider myself to be doing the country a favour. I should get a bloody award...:)
Updates as they happen.