Lancashire tax expert urges PM David Cameron to ‘give me a call’

Prime Minister David Cameron
Prime Minister David Cameron
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A Lancashire accountant has slammed the nation’s tax system and told Prime Minister David Cameron: “Give me a call and we can talk about it.”

Simon Cox says the HM Customs and Revenue is in desperate need of a radical overhaul.

And he is prepared to discuss his ideas for a more user-friendly system with the country’s top politician.

“If HMRC transformed themselves from being tax collectors to tax advisors and assisted local businesses to help them generate more profits, then businesses perhaps wouldn’t mind paying taxes and filing returns on time,” he said.

“The current regime is not working. Staff are demotivated, taxpayers resent HMRC involvement in their affairs, and it costs billions just to chase unpaid tax.”

Simon’s outburst came days after a tax return deadline had been missed by almost 900,000 taxpayers, resulting in millions of pounds in unpaid penalties.

Now HMRC has announced a plan to scrap the £100 fines altogether, admitting its current penalties regime may be far too rigid.

It is drawing up plans to drop the fines for people who miss the January 31 deadline by “just a day or two”.

In future a system of penalty points could be introduced to hit those who persistently fail to pay their tax bills.

New rules outlined for public consultation could see people who owe the government tax charged higher interest rates on their debts to encourage them to pay sooner, instead of being hit with automatic fines

Simon, boss of Lytham accountancy firm Forbes Watson, believes that the government should go even further than that and totally rethink the existence of HMRC.

“Business owners are always looking for advice and assistance from their accountants,” he added.

“To have a local ‘government advisor’ on hand for free would greatly help both start-up businesses and experienced businesses alike.

“If David Cameron calls me I’ll happily discuss my ideas with him.”

Simon formed Forbes Watson after 15 years working in various accountancy practices throughout the North West.