Say NO to the Taxman

Dr Vernon Coleman MB ChB DSc FRSA

Tax payers always worry when they receive an invitation to attend a meeting at the tax office.

In Britain, the invitations are sent out frequently. Tax inspectors are keen entertainers.

The vast majority of those who receive these invites do as requested. They turn up on the date specified and present themselves for disembowelment.

But make no mistake about it: the British tax man is not going to hand over a nice cup of tea and a slice of cake.

The taxman wants taxpayers to turn up for a grilling because he hopes and believes that he might be able to ferret out a nugget of information that might prove incriminating.

Iíve had chums who have been to the tax office and then been told to empty out their pockets and take off their watches. `How did you afford that watch?í and `Why have you got £17.45 in your pocket?í are typical questions. The poor taxpayer, startled and confused, is likely to blunder into a minefield.

The thing that most people do not realise is this: unless you have been arrested or charged with some criminal offence, you donít have to go to the taxmanís office.

You can say `No, thanks. Damned decent of you to send the invite but I think Iíll stay at home that day. You just pop your questions in the post and Iíll send along the answers when I have had time to think about them.í

And, Iím no accountant, but it seems to me that by and large, on the whole, and all things being equal, staying at home is much the better bet.

You can look through the questions. You can think about your answers. And you can avoid any little tricks or manoeuvres which might prove disastrous.

Remember: the taxman doesnít invite people to his or her office because he or she wants to give them a cup of tea and a slice of cake. He or she is not about to become your best chum.

So if a tax inspector sends me an invite Iíll tell the little bastard, very politely, to eat his slice of seed cake by himself.

And Iíll stay at home.

Copyright Vernon Coleman 2018