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Headline Writer Proposes UK Government Confiscate All Paychecks

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In a move that illustrates the growing threat of government intervention in the imagination of headline writers seeking page views, CNBC is proposing the UK's tax collection agency confiscate all employee paychecks.

'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," according to CNBC's proposal.

Why? Why would CNBC propose the UK tax agency take this drastic interventionist step? Why wouldn't the UK tax agency think of such a move first? Who knows? But it's a sharp bone in the throat to all good and decent people in the UK.

Fortunately, the HM Revenue & Customs has so far ignored CNBC's plea to confiscate citizen paychecks, instead choosing to issue a discussion memorandum seeking public and business comment on ways to modernize and make more efficient the Pay As You Earn system that has remained unchanged for 66 years.

As part of the discussion memorandum, HMRC outlined a number of proposals to move toward a real time information system to help improve the tax and welfare system. Also included in the discussion memorandum is discussion of a "more radical" centralized deductions option for employers and employees.

While headline writers in search of page views want this to mean that employers will send checks to the government, which will presumably make up some amount to deduct in taxes and then send the checks to the employees, the reality is far more mundane. The centralized deductions process would simply transmit the information about income and deductions to HMRC which would then use it to work out the correct deductions of tax, NIC and student loan repayments.

"At no stage would HMRC or its agents have direct access to any money or information contained in the recipient’s bank account or indeed the bank account itself," the discussion memorandum, which is not an actual proposal, states. But that's boring. I mean, just compare these headlines:

HMRC Issues Discussion Memorandum to Improve and Modernise 66-year-old Tax System


UK Proposes All Paychecks Go to the State First

I admit it. I'm not clicking on that first one. Not gonna do it. I don't even know what the HMRC really is! But that second one? Click! Click! Link! Link! Click again! I'm all over it. Who cares if it's misleading or flat-out wrong. That's our media! We asked for it, because we clicked on it.

Yes, that's what we get in the clickable-page-view-for-page-view's-sake world; the media we deserve.
POSITION:  No positions in stocks mentioned.