KG posted in the comments two articles on subjects that are universal across the west-
Let’s explore this using some basic logic.
In her article “Paying tradies Cash not okay” Clement asserts –
“A good chunk of law-abiding Kiwis think the concept of cash jobs is fine, according to a Facebook discussion on the subject I followed. “It’s personal choice,” one wrote – even though those tradespeople may put that money in their pockets and not pay tax.
Logically, it’s therefore personal choice if you want to mug someone in the street for their wallet or break into their homes and steal stuff. Receiving cash for work and not paying tax on it is a crime.”
Sure,but what of the government and it’s handling of the revenue it takes from us in taxes?Is the trade person that accepts cash for small jobs and doesn’t report it as income any more guilty of a crime than a benefits recipient that obtains and uses those benefits fraudulently? The benefits cheat is not only taking money they aren’t eligible to receive,but also reducing the amount of benefits available to those who really do need them.
She continues-“Of course, many tradies who receive cash pay tax. I bet my bottom dollar that plenty don’t.”
Just how would you know?Are you now or ever have been a trades person and have inside knowledge of how many of your fellow tradesmen operate on cash?No,you don’t,neither does the government.None of the reporting studies the various governments do are ever accurate.Those reports are filed for make work and for public dissemination so journalists can write articles trying to shame customers and smear tradesmen,nothing more.
So in the next paragraph she points out a statistic that basically tells us that tradesmen say “yes we will get nicked if we don’t pony up uncle’s share”
” The Inland Revenue Department surveys tradies from time to time and in 2015 half of the respondents agreed with the statement they were likely to get caught if they failed to declare income.”
“The same survey found a quarter of building and construction work in Auckland was done under the table.”
I’m calling complete bullshit on that number.Given the amount of construction work going on at any one time in a major city there is no chance in hell 25% of it is going on under the table.Reason why?Goods and materials charges cannot be that easily hidden.It’s just not possible,if it is,then there are entire tax collection departments in the government that should be fired for not doing their jobs.
“Tax evasion does have an effect. I like living in a country with a half-decent education system, pothole-free roads, a medical system to fix me up if I’m broken, and so on.None of these are perfect – but they need money to run and that dosh has to come from the rest of us if cheats don’t pay.”
Good points,but you left out a few things.I too like living in a community that has education,infrastructure and available medical centers.However I also work hard for a living and count my pennies closely and expect the government to do the same.I hate it when government wastes my money on things I neither need nor want.How many public “art” installations have we seen that are merely public handouts to “artists” that would starve to death if they had to depend on their “talent” to survive?Education,how many students are they turning out that cannot read at a functional level at the same age as many of their third world counterparts?How much public money is handed out to people who do not have a legitimate need?What I am asking here is very simple-shouldn’t we have government accountability before the government asks us as citizens to be accountable?
“The argument is that the likes of Apple, Google and others use legal approaches to avoid paying tax on their earnings from New Zealand.”
No they don’t,they pay taxes on revenue made in NZ,they just don’t want to be taxed by NZ on money they made elsewhere aka double dipping.
“Baucher also points out the 44,000 Trade Me members that the IRD chased. As a result of that campaign, traders paid up $3 million in undeclared tax.”
Did you bother to ask them what the cost of enforcement was relative to the return?No,you didn’t and they probably have no clue.In the US even the IRS chief admitted before congress that the cost of auditing and enforcement exceeded the amount recovered.In other words the agency LOST money by enforcing the law,this was a net LOSS to the taxpaying public.So in the example listed the recovered amount had to be at least $68 per Trade Me member just to break even.How many of those members didn’t break that threshold?How many more members did they chase and not recover any money from?How many simply refused to pay up because they knew the cost of recovery would well exceed the amount they owed?
So now we have arrived at a central point-that just because the government does something,it doesn’t mean that something is worth doing or is even moral in it’s action.Supporting a government that has overstepped it’s bounds and spends money recklessly is no virtue,it’s turning a blind eye to tyranny.
We have the case of self-confirmed benefit fraudster Metiria Turei who is also now a politician.She admits to-
“She’s revealed that while she was a solo mother on the DPB, studying law and looking after a baby, she was also lying to her WINZ case worker about how many people she was flatting with, and so, what her accommodation costs actually were.”
This is a glaring example of why government has no business running a charity.The people administrating the charity have no skin in the game and therefore no incentive to limit fraud to it’s minimum amount.So folks like Metiria can get away,often for years or even decades double dipping the system costing taxpayers more than they should be paying and denying benefits to people who actually need it,but are honestly abiding by the law.
Notice also the news article spared no cost insuring we knew she was a single mother and student.For the record I have no sympathy for any single mother that isn’t a widow or the victim of actual domestic abuse.You don’t have a choice about catching a cold,but you do have a choice about getting knocked up.