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  • FIRST POST
    Former MSE Lawrence
    'Have you ever cheated the taxman?' Poll results/discussion
    • #1
    • 25th Mar 08, 9:42 AM
    'Have you ever cheated the taxman?' Poll results/discussion 25th Mar 08 at 9:42 AM
    Poll started 25 March 2008: Have you ever cheated the taxman?

    Have you ever not declared earnings, left money in a hidden account, or not paid tax when you should? It is of course a crime, and being cracked down on ever more harshly. How widespread is tax evasion?

    Which is the closest to your situation? Over your life have you knowingly:
    1. Undeclared/Hidden substantial sums (10,000s) 4% (214 votes)
    2. Undeclared/Hidden big sums (1,000s) 9% (436 votes)
    3. Undeclared/Hidden some cash (100s) 17% (847 votes)
    4. Undeclared/Hidden small cash (less than 100) 16% (795 votes)
    5. Nothing ever. I declare every penny 53% (2600 votes)
    Voting has now ended, but you can still click 'post reply' to discuss below.

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    Last edited by Former MSE Lawrence; 01-04-2008 at 4:58 PM.
Page 1
  • MagicBurd29
    • #2
    • 25th Mar 08, 2:20 PM
    • #2
    • 25th Mar 08, 2:20 PM
    You're inviting MSE members to admit to a crime, in public?

    What happens when HMRC come knocking at MSE Towers saying "We believe you have evidence of crimes being committed, hand over your server logs" ?

    And what of MSE's reputation if, say, 1000 votes are cast, only 500 of which are for option 5? Any future campaign by MSE can be shot down with "But half of all MSE members are self-confessed criminals" !

    I'm struggling to see any way in which this survey is a good idea ... sorry ...

    [follow-up] I voted after posting ... and am gob-smacked to see that so far, 41% of voters have confessed.

    A la House MD: WHAT ARE YOU THINKING, PEOPLE?? You want them to say "41% of MSE Members are idiots!" ?

    Last edited by MagicBurd29; 25-03-2008 at 2:30 PM.
  • whitesofmyeyes
    • #3
    • 25th Mar 08, 3:41 PM
    • #3
    • 25th Mar 08, 3:41 PM
    You're inviting MSE members to admit to a crime, in public?

    What happens when HMRC come knocking at MSE Towers saying "We believe you have evidence of crimes being committed, hand over your server logs" ?

    Originally posted by earwig1928
    HMRC Don't have the time to pick up on a poll get a court order for server logs so then can trace people who said they have cheated what would that prove?

    I doubt any Judge would give them a court order on that results of an internet poll.

    They would then have to get investigate those who voted yes,it isn't going to happen .
  • jessc_2001
    • #4
    • 26th Mar 08, 12:40 AM
    • #4
    • 26th Mar 08, 12:40 AM
    earwig has a point of course... we all know that some people are naive enough to believe that "Big Brother" won't knock on MSE towers' door and say "evidence of crime etc... we must hunt them down" and here's a "court order" to prove we're serious Obviously, the answer would be not to commit the crime in the first place... but then I'm enough of a realist to know that this will not deter some people... sad but true
  • teddyco
    • #5
    • 26th Mar 08, 8:23 AM
    • #5
    • 26th Mar 08, 8:23 AM
    See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil...........
    Last edited by teddyco; 26-03-2008 at 8:32 AM.
  • MagicBurd29
    • #6
    • 26th Mar 08, 10:41 AM
    • #6
    • 26th Mar 08, 10:41 AM
    HMRC Don't have the time to pick up on a poll get a court order ... They would then have to get investigate those who voted yes,it isn't going to happen .
    Originally posted by whitesofmyeyes
    a) do you have any idea of the amount of trouble an HMRC investigation can cause? (I have knowledge of this, one step removed thank goodness).

    b) you don't think HMRC occasionally take action for the sake of being seen to act? As a deterrent, to make a point, etc?

    c) look at how many have voted for >10k - there'd be a bit of money in that

    Anyway you're rather missing my main point which is about the message this gives out about the attitude of MSE and MSE members to tax avoidance/evasion. The mention of "it's a crime" does little to offset this message, I suggest.

    It's tantamount to being seen to condone avoidance/evasion.

    Far better to report and comment on someone else's representative survey.
    • Frugaldom
    • By Frugaldom 26th Mar 08, 12:57 PM
    • 6,160 Posts
    • 54,423 Thanks
    Frugaldom
    • #7
    • 26th Mar 08, 12:57 PM
    R.i.p.
    • #7
    • 26th Mar 08, 12:57 PM
    I am finding this entire subject a complete and utter joke! First of all, I'd like to remind people that tax evasion is completely different from tax avoidance. The former is ILLEGAL and the latter is, supposedly, the 'norm' by way of selective purchasing, tax free savings and legitimate investments. (Apparently, the richer you arem the finer the line between the two and it's seen by many as the job of their accountant to keep it legal.) However, it is naiive to think that 'the tax man' and various other 'fraud investigation services' do not read forums.

    Has everyone forgotten about RIP? (The Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act.)

    Has everyone forgotten that anyone can claim about £1000 for pinpointing benefits cheats?

    Have you any idea how many thousands of pounds website companies/owners could generate through disclosing user details to the relevant authorities? They aren't breaking any data protection rules, as far as I am aware, if they can justify it by suspecting a crime. (Benefits fraud and tax evasion are both crimes.)

    Here is how you COULD envisage a newspaper headline going on the current voting trend:

    45% OF MSE USERS ARE CRIMINALS

    In a recent poll carried out on behalf of TV personality and money mogul Martin Lewis, 45% of respondents on his Moneysavingexper.com website openly admitted to criminal activity...

    or perhaps, elsewhere,

    55% OF MSE USERS ARE HONEST

    In a recent poll carried out on behalf of TV personality and money mogul Martin Lewis, 55% of respondents on his Moneysavingexpert.com website openly admitted paying every penny due to the taxman...

    It's sometimes called spin, it's sometimes called sensationalising, it's maybe even just a publicity stunt drawing attention to a site and it's users. It's probably going on all the time...

    PLEASE NOTE THAT THE ABOVE IS NOT AN ACTUAL HEADLINE nor does it in any way reflect the beliefs of the writer. It is simply an example of how certain aspects of a website and/or particular forums can be perceived and adequately demonstrates that many forum users do not fully appreciate the importance of the word 'PUBLIC' in the term 'Public Forums'. I would also like to point out that I am fully aware that, "this site asserts copyright on all comments posted on the board."
    Last edited by Frugaldom; 26-03-2008 at 1:19 PM. Reason: Trying to make a point
    I reserve the right NOT to spend:
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    Now running Frugaldom as a lifestyle social enterprise!
    • silvercar
    • By silvercar 26th Mar 08, 1:20 PM
    • 39,463 Posts
    • 163,551 Thanks
    silvercar
    • #8
    • 26th Mar 08, 1:20 PM
    • #8
    • 26th Mar 08, 1:20 PM
    Never believe everything you read, particluarly on an internet forum, particularly on an internet poll.
  • teddyco
    • #9
    • 26th Mar 08, 3:39 PM
    • #9
    • 26th Mar 08, 3:39 PM
    I, my wife, my family and friends are all waiting patiently here in Maidstone for the next election so we can:

    VOTE CONSERVATIVE!

    Lower taxes!
    Make fox hunting legal again!
    Nationalize the British Rail System and get Britain moving again!
    Lower petrol taxes!
    Fix all the pot holes in 90% of our roads!
    Make foreign Lorry drivers qualify to drive on British roads!
    Make the NHS mostly private!
    Scrap the pre-war, out-of-date car tax!
    Folks who claim state benefits must qualify every 6 month's to show that they are still unfit to work. Incentivize disability payments to get as many working again like they do in the USA.
    Get rid of the sham that is the child benefits program! Lowering taxes for everyone benefits everyone equally.
    Scrap the TV License!
    Build more airports since all the smart people really know global warming is a myth!
    High Speed trains for the whole of Britain!
    Scrap ASBO's and bring back National Service!
    Let kids wear hoodies or anything else they want because with all the cops on the streets under Conservatives, it won't matter what they are wearing.
    Make smacking legal in schools so teachers can beat the living crap out of
    naughty kids once and for all!
    Bring back the London Routemaster buses with conductor's, and ditch bendy buses forever!
    Get out of the EU Now!
    Make the English language mandatory for anyone who gets UK citizenship or works at a UK call center.
    Lower corporate taxes and CGT's and scrap death taxes!
    Give all police guns and teach them them how to use them!
    Widen the M25 and build more roads in the UK!
    Get rid of stupid, senseless Labour targets in hospitals, schools and the police forces and allow the professionals to do their jobs!

    Elect Boris Johnson for London Mayor! Woo Hoo!
    Last edited by teddyco; 26-03-2008 at 3:46 PM.
  • chuckles1066
    A la House MD: WHAT ARE YOU THINKING, PEOPLE?? You want them to say "41% of MSE Members are idiots!" ?

    Originally posted by earwig1928
    As low as that? I'd have put it in the high 90's :confused:
    You'll always miss 100% of the shots you don't take - Wayne Gretzky

    Any advice that you receive from me is worth exactly what you paid for it. Not a penny more or a penny less.
  • chuckles1066
    HMRC Don't have the time to pick up on a poll get a court order for server logs so then can trace people
    Originally posted by whitesofmyeyes
    Server logs don't, and can't, "trace people".

    They can provide an ip address. Armed with that ip address, any authority can go to the relevant ISP and get a Court Order revealing the name and address of the bill-payer using that ip address at the time of the alleged infraction.

    Note: bill-payer. Not "person sat at the pc at that time".

    It's why internet actions for libel will always fail (unless the accused is very stupid and admits everything).

    You will never prove who actually typed something at any given time.......so confess away to all your tax-dodging deeds
    You'll always miss 100% of the shots you don't take - Wayne Gretzky

    Any advice that you receive from me is worth exactly what you paid for it. Not a penny more or a penny less.
  • Nomad25
    I'm with you 100% on this one earwig, so I won't be voting! Your comments re newspapers silly quotes are valid - all it takes is a no news, wet day and some bored journo .. bingo. Am actually quite surprised at Martin letting this through. Guess they must have thought it through at MSE towers.
  • chuckles1066
    I'm with you 100% on this one earwig, so I won't be voting! Your comments re newspapers silly quotes are valid - all it takes is a no news, wet day and some bored journo .. bingo. Am actually quite surprised at Martin letting this through. Guess they must have thought it through at MSE towers.
    Originally posted by Nomad25
    Besides which, the values are small fry.

    A bigger tax dodge is paying Bob The Builder 1,000 cash in hand for a wall that, if it goes through the books, is going to cost you 1,500.

    And everyone does that, don't they? :rolleyes:
    You'll always miss 100% of the shots you don't take - Wayne Gretzky

    Any advice that you receive from me is worth exactly what you paid for it. Not a penny more or a penny less.
    • slicence
    • By slicence 26th Mar 08, 4:45 PM
    • 208 Posts
    • 148 Thanks
    slicence
    I, my wife, my family and friends are all waiting patiently here in Maidstone for the next election so we can:

    VOTE CONSERVATIVE!

    Lower taxes!
    Make fox hunting legal again!
    Nationalize the British Rail System and get Britain moving again!
    Lower petrol taxes!
    Fix all the pot holes in 90% of our roads!
    Make foreign Lorry drivers qualify to drive on British roads!
    Make the NHS mostly private!
    Scrap the pre-war, out-of-date car tax!
    Folks who claim state benefits must qualify every 6 month's to show that they are still unfit to work. Incentivize disability payments to get as many working again like they do in the USA.
    Get rid of the sham that is the child benefits program! Lowering taxes for everyone benefits everyone equally.
    Scrap the TV License!
    Build more airports since all the smart people really know global warming is a myth!
    High Speed trains for the whole of Britain!
    Scrap ASBO's and bring back National Service!
    Let kids wear hoodies or anything else they want because with all the cops on the streets under Conservatives, it won't matter what they are wearing.
    Make smacking legal in schools so teachers can beat the living crap out of
    naughty kids once and for all!
    Bring back the London Routemaster buses with conductor's, and ditch bendy buses forever!
    Get out of the EU Now!
    Make the English language mandatory for anyone who gets UK citizenship or works at a UK call center.
    Lower corporate taxes and CGT's and scrap death taxes!
    Give all police guns and teach them them how to use them!
    Widen the M25 and build more roads in the UK!
    Get rid of stupid, senseless Labour targets in hospitals, schools and the police forces and allow the professionals to do their jobs!

    Elect Boris Johnson for London Mayor! Woo Hoo!
    Originally posted by teddyco
    The funny thing is, I can't even work out if you're serious or not

    Due to be mortgage free in May 2043
    Mortgage free wannabe by May 2028, eek!
    Current daily interest ~ -6.75 - 6.31
    Overpayments since April 2018 - 5,500
  • MagicBurd29
    You will never prove who actually typed something at any given time
    What's that whooshing? Ah, the sound of a point being missed ...

    Armed with a bill-payer's identity or even just the IP address' physical address, HMRC can start an investigation of that bill-payer, and/or others at that address.

    Have you been investigated? Quick bit of fun, was it?

    Of course server logs don't prove anything. They don't have to.

    And all this is beside my main point, which is the potential harm of this poll to MSE's reputation.
  • MagicBurd29
    Am actually quite surprised at Martin letting this through. Guess they must have thought it through at MSE towers.
    Originally posted by Nomad25
    I did wonder if they'd meant to do this poll in a week's time. On 1/4
  • chuckles1066
    What's that whooshing? Ah, the sound of a point being missed ...
    Originally posted by earwig1928
    nope, that would be the sound of the wind whistling through the empty space between your ears.

    Have you been investigated? Quick bit of fun, was it?
    Originally posted by earwig1928
    Nope, but then I'm PAYE so I don't have a choice in what taxes I have removed from my earnings.

    But if I can pay cash for a job to be done, then I do.
    You'll always miss 100% of the shots you don't take - Wayne Gretzky

    Any advice that you receive from me is worth exactly what you paid for it. Not a penny more or a penny less.
  • teddyco
    slicence,

    I'm glad someone thinks it's funny!
  • MagicBurd29
    nope, that would be the sound of the wind whistling through the empty space between your ears.
    Originally posted by chuckles1066
    Out of arguments so resort to insults.

    Nope, but then I'm PAYE so I don't have a choice in what taxes I have removed from my earnings.
    Originally posted by chuckles1066
    Out of experience so resort to irrelevance.

    But if I can pay cash for a job to be done, then I do.
    Originally posted by chuckles1066
    Ah, that explains why my comments about MSE's reputation have passed you by.
    • MSE Martin
    • By MSE Martin 26th Mar 08, 8:26 PM
    • 8,116 Posts
    • 42,310 Thanks
    MSE Martin
    Let me just reply to the newspaper headline comment which I found quite amusing. To be honest I was considering press releasing the poll result so newspaper coverage isn't something that scares me on this! All my polls are VERY public 5m people use the site a month over 400,000 on a typical tip day including many 1,000s of journalists.

    MSE is a massive website - 1 in 8 UK adults use it is month. The vote doesn't represent "MSE users" its a good - though admittedly not random sample - of the UK population.

    The vote neither represents me or the population, but shows how widespread evading taxes are. Of course its a crime. I'm aware of it and don't condone it. Yet as a piece of social measurement the poll is fascinating and exactly the reason I did it.

    What it shows is a substantial number of people do evade taxes. This is an issue our society needs to be aware of and deal with. Brushing it under the carpet and not tackling it just isn't my style

    Martin
    Martin Lewis, Money Saving Expert.
    Please note, answers don't constitute financial advice, it is based on generalised journalistic research. Always ensure any decision is made with regards to your own individual circumstance.

    Don't miss out on urgent MoneySaving, get my weekly e-mail at www.moneysavingexpert.com/tips.

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