Saturday, March 1, 2008

Fear to scare us into submission

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Has anyone noticed that the tax authorities are playing a psychological war against tax evaders and its based on guilt, fear and now even crime. The last story discusses how tax authorities have resorted to buying stolen information from private citizens prepared to expose arrangements that protect the financial interests of people that dont believe in tax.

There are a number of elements to this strategy:
1. Guilt: Continue to propagate the myth that tax evasion is illegal or immoral to make people feel guilty for acting in their own best interested, and those of their family.
2. Fear: Continue to announce initiatives that make people feel like the tax office is on top of things. The reality is they are actually a pathetic group of cowards, but they are only emboldened by cowardice and unthinking character in the general populous, starting with individuals and business that relies on government hand-outs.
3. Crime: Well the previous example highlights how desperate tax authorities have become. Germany is of course one of those EU countries with very high tax rates, and you can imagine that a great many of them are not happy paying so much, if any.

So what of the strategies they use:
1. Polite: The tax office are actually very friendly people. Research has no doubt told them that people are more likely to pay income tax if you solicit funds with a happy disposition. They are more inclined to 'backdown'.
2. Divide & conqueror: The tax authorities like to perpetuate the idea that they are targeting certain sectors of the economy. They find a tax evasion scheme and they make that industry or aspect of the tax code the basis for 'added vigilance'. The intent is to scare you into submission.
3. Target high profile examples: There is a tendency to take high profile people and target them for tax auditing. No doubt they made a slip. The reality is they will pay alot of penalties, they might even be disallowed from making any public comments as part of their 'out of court' settlements. This is just another example of the divide & rule principle used by dictators so well. They dont care that they wreak people's lives. They want people to see that everyone is under threat.

Examples are Steve Vizard, the Australian comic, the high-flying Australian stockbroker Rene Rivkin and Paul Hogan, another comic cum director.
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Andrew Sheldon www.sheldonthinks.com
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