‘No Such Thing as A Free Lunch’ – For Some There Is!

NEWS FROM THE CELTIC LEAGUE

Corporate cheats’ i.e. senior management dining out running company cars and offsetting all sorts of other living expenses from company expense accounts offset against tax cost you and I money.

In September last year we wrote to Treasury Minister, Eddie Teare MHK, and pointed out that the substantial deficiency this causes to the public purse, which has to be made up by ordinary tax payers, was recognized many years ago by Treasury but there was no political will to address it.

We urged him to tackle the issue together with the ‘black economy’ in the next budget – which he promised to do. He also asked for specific areas of concern which I outlined to him.

At the time I wrote the Treasury was focusing on possible increases to National Insurance and changes (reductions) in benefits. I pointed out that tackling perceived shortcomings for those at the poorer end of society should be balanced out by tackling the tax abuses of the wealthy.

I’ve written to remind him of his promise to address the matter and will watch the forthcoming budget with interest.

“Hon Eddie Teare, ACIB, MHK
Isle of Man Treasury Minister
Government Offices
Bucks Road
Douglas
Isle of Man
IM1 3PZ

14th January 2016

Dear Minister,

Ref: Corporate cheats and the black economy

You will recall I corresponded with you in September 2015 raising concerns about ‘creative accounting’ i.e. the use of company expense accounts and the ‘black economy’ and the loss that this causes in terms of the annual tax take. This effectively means that whilst members of the business community dine-out and run company vehicles gratis the ordinary tax-payer has to make up for this lost revenue

I will enclose a copy of my letter to you at the time for information but the main focus of the point I was making was set out as follows:

“In these straitened times when you are proposing changes to both NI and taxation which will impact lower/middle earners I wondered what steps you were taking to address the black economy and also the expenses arena of the corporate tax cheats.

It seems quite obscene frankly that at a time the Island has food banks some in the business community can dine out on expenses! Equally when the Island contemplates withdrawing bus passes for senior citizens it seems bizarre that CEOs and Professionals can use a variety of devices to evade motoring costs.

I do hope government will make this an area of priority and I trust now you have a new CFO in post they will ‘hit the ground running’ by addressing these concerns.

Obviously every tax pound evaded by those in the ‘black economy’ or swindled by those with access to corporate expenses facilities increases the tax burden on those who do honestly meet their taxation liabilities.”

My recollection is that (despite if being the weekend) you responded promptly and positively and indicated that the area would be addressed in the next budget. You also asked for specific suggestions which I subsequently forwarded.

With a budget due shortly I do hope this area will be addressed corporate and business expense account creativity and the black economy must be costing us dearly. As I indicated to you in September this was recognised by a former Chief Financial Officer to the Treasury over a decade and a half ago but despite his desire to address it there seemed to be no political will.

I do hope you will make good on your assurance and address this issue. I note the Treasury have both cut benefits to the unemployed and continue to tackle benefit fraud. The other end of the scale is corporate/business creative evasion and I would suggest addressing this will be more productive to the public purse.

Yours sincerely

Bernard Moffatt

Director of Information
Celtic League”

Two links to our initial release in September and the Ministers Response:

https://www.celticleague.net/…/treasury-urged-to-crack-dow…/

https://www.celticleague.net/…/treasury-minister-responds-…/

BERNARD MOFFATT

Issued by: The Celtic News

14/01/16

THE CELTIC LEAGUE INFORMATION SERVICE.

The Celtic League established in 1961 has branches in the six Celtic Countries. It promotes cooperation between the countries and campaigns on a range of political, cultural and environmental matters. It highlights human rights abuse, military activity and socio-economic issues

https://celticleague.net

Mannin Branch Celtic League's photo.
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