20 Sep 2010

British Government Takes the Next Logical Step

Big Brother, Economics 1 Comment

You know how a lot of libertarians think a good reform would be for workers to get their full paychecks, and then write a check to the IRS? Well they’re proposing this–Bizarro-style–in Great Britain:

The UK’s tax collection agency is putting forth a proposal that all employers send employee paychecks to the government, after which the government would deduct what it deems as the appropriate tax and pay the employees by bank transfer.

The proposal by Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) stresses the need for employers to provide real-time information to the government so that it can monitor all payments and make a better assessment of whether the correct tax is being paid.

Currently employers withhold tax and pay the government, providing information at the end of the year, a system know as Pay as You Earn (PAYE). There is no option for those employees to refuse withholding and individually file a tax return at the end of the year.

If the real-time information plan works, it further proposes that employers hand over employee salaries to the government first.

One Response to “British Government Takes the Next Logical Step”

  1. Paul says:

    Am speechless (as a UK taxpayer).

    This comes within a couple of weeks of the tax office announcing that they’ve been collecting the wrong tax from millions of us for years (and their Chief Exec’s refusal to apologise for it). Now this announcement, and a continued contempt for any kind of public relations management.

    The cock-ups I expect, but I find the arrogance slightly sinister.