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All your bank accounts are belong to us

HMRC wants to make withdrawals from your bank account if it thinks you owe it money. As a commenter on Reddit noted, “This is actually very good for bitcoin.” It is also very good for gold, paper money stashed under the matress, property, and anything else that is not keeping money in a bank account.

33 comments to All your bank accounts are belong to us

  • Lee Moore

    Or a non UK bank account.

    Paper money stashed under the mattress is not that good. I actually took some out during the financial crisis and stashed it under the mattress. It was in fifties. Recently the government decided to take old fifties out of circulation, purportedly in an attempt to inconvenience criminals, money launderers and suchlike. So I had to take it back to the bank, who proceeded to grill me on where I had got it (from them five years ago.) All this before they were willing to accept it. They wouldn’t have irritated me so much – after all it’s not the bank demanding to know, it’s the government – if the bank official hadn’t manically insisted that he was grilling me for my own benefit. It’s actually to help you, he said. It’s to stop financial crime. What financial crime do you think I’m in danger of suffering from as I hand you these notes, I asked. Well, it’s not just financial crime, it’s tax evasion, too. Supposing, just for the sake of argument, that I was evading taxes. How exactly would asking me all these questions be helping ME ? Muppets.

  • Derek Buxton

    But this violates the the Peoples Rights under the Law of Property Rights which as far as I know is still part of our freedom, well the bit that is left. It does seem that we are being taken into the European law standards without our consent.

  • Jim

    @Lee Moore: don’t get £50s, get gold coins, sovereigns for example. They never go out of circulation, you don’t need to go to a bank to cash them in, any pawn shop or jewellers will do, or just pay with them. You could bury them in a hole and your ancestors could find them and they’d be as well off as you are today. Don’t think your £50 note will be worth much in 100 years time.

  • Lee Moore

    I hadn’t been planning to use my fifties in a hundred years time, Jim. Just to keep me going for a few months in case the banks were indisposed for a while. Gold coins are more of a long term thing – you can be pretty confident that in fifty years time they’ll have purchasing power of at least 25% and more likely at least 75% of what you paid for them. Whereas with paper money, it could be in the 0% to 5% range. But for general spending in the next five years or so, I expect the folding stuff to be fairly useful. I still have some twenties, which haven’t been removed from circulation, but they’re bulkier than fifties and the lump under your mattress can keep you awake.

  • PaulM

    The really good thing about gold Sovereigns and the Britannia range of gold coins is that there is no capital gains tax on them in the UK.

    (Other gold coins are available).

  • That oversight can always be corrected, PaulM – just wait long enough.

  • llamas

    “You could bury them in a hole and your ancestors could find them and they’d be as well off as you are today.”

    No, they’d have as much gold as you buried.

    Whether or not they would be ‘as well off’ is completely impossible to predict, since the rates of exchange between physical gold and (all other generally-accepted media of exchange) vary so wildly in both the long and short term. And can also be (as we have seen many times in the past) entirely at the whim of governments, who impose their rates of exchange at gunpoint.



  • Rob Fisher (Surrey)

    Maybe Llamas, but have you considered that this is *time travelling* gold, made of tachyons? That’s got to increase its value.

  • Regional

    Gold has a weakness as FDR proved. It was illegal to have it, even coins and the Government ‘purchased’ it at two thirds of the market value. The Government can steal anything from you i.e. a capital gains tax on the family home.

  • Rob

    Anyway, in case you were wondering, we currently have a Conservative government.

    This isn’t the final nail in the coffin – the echoes of that hammering faded some time ago – merely a further illustration that the current administration is a socialist one in all but name.

  • Paul Marks

    Bitcoin can be traced – that is what (for example) the blockchain is for, and to set up a bitcoin “wallet” one is asked for one’s… bank details.

    As for the move of the tax authorities – yes grimly predictable.

    Our rulers do not believe in the principles of the rule-of-law (that is one thing I agree on with the man-in-Kent) and they are desperate – and going to get more desperate.

    It is unfortunate.

    Still not everywhere is as bad as everywhere else – for example Canada is a little bit better (from a security-of-property point of view) than the United States.

  • Regional

    Look at why the NHS was introduced.

  • Mr Ed

    A modest compromise. I might agree to this power on one condition, that, with a named government official being responsible for authorising the withdrawal and it being counter-signed by two others, but if there is the slightest error, even one penny over or under the amount properly due under tax law, then all three officials are hanged the following dawn after an error comes to light in a jury-only (volunteer jurors) court, no appeal, no clemency, no prerogative of mercy, no exceptions for any reason whatsoever, and the finding of the tax due being the responsibility of that jury of the peers of the aggrieved taxpayer, no judge to confuse matters or forestall any correct decisions.

    Surely every such official would be safe and happy to proceed?

  • Paul: “to set up a bitcoin “wallet” one is asked for one’s… bank details”

    Not quite. You have to provide bank details to set up accounts with certain Bitcoin currency exchanges. That’s not the only way to do it, though. And HMRC can’t just take your Bitcoins in the way that they can take money from your bank account. That’s the point of the decentralisation. But, obviously, there is always violence.

  • Paul, the only reason you need to provide your bank-account details when buying BC is that you buy it online – in that BC is no different from any other product bought online, including Swiss Francs, gold, or books. I imagine you can buy BC from someone in person using cash, but I also imagine that would be rather less convenient.

  • Regional

    In Boganstan the Government announced it was increasing the Excise on petrol and diesel and the Prime Minister spent the morning as a bowser attendant at his local servo so motorists could give him feedback and they were civil about it. The Budget due Tuesday week is going to be humdinger in slashing spending.

  • Alisa: “I imagine you can buy BC from someone in person using cash”. Yes. https://localbitcoins.com/

  • Thanks Rob – yes, I seemed to recall this or another such forum.

  • Bart

    I’m under the impression that this is already the case in Australia, and has been for twenty years or more – can anybody confirm?

  • Laird

    Regional, that’s twice in recent days you’ve mentioned “Boganstan”. What the hell are you talking about?

  • Laird

    Boganstan = Australia? How is anyone supposed to know that? It doesn’t even turn up in a Google search.

  • Regional

    A Bogan is a dysfunctional moron, ever been to Straya, you wonder how many can breathe and walk at the same time while ‘stan’ is the suffix to a backward nation, ever heard the ‘stans’ mentioned when talking about the Middle East, hope this has been helpful.

  • Alan Peakall

    I had to work out Boganstan = Australia from the 7.5 population clue – I ended up spending 30 minutes on Demographics of Australia at Wikipedia which I will never get back 🙂

  • Alan Peakall

    7.5 million, that is.

  • Mr Ed

    I’m sure if Mr Putin hears of Boganstan he will find a reason to pacify it.

  • Nick (Blame The French) Gray

    Two bogans recently had a fight at Bondi, which you might have heard about. As they are both very rich, one paper called them Boganaires. This term could be applied to any dumb rich person you meet.

  • Laird

    Thanks for the explanation, Regional. Yes, I have heard of “stans” when referring to unspecified middle eastern countries, but only because most of them have names ending in “-stan”. I never heard it used in reference to a “backward nation”. Live and learn.

  • Regional

    The Wallopers laid charges against them and they were fined $500 for affray, I think is the term.

  • Regional

    What I think you’re alluding to is the Taxation Department can actually tell the amount of your refund even before you’ve lodged a return.

  • Nick (Blame The French) Gray

    Bondi is on the Eastern shore. No shotguns or revolvers or rifles were involved. Instead of the wild West, we have the effete East!

  • Regional

    Mister Ed,
    England pacified Scotland, Wales and Ireland and if not for the Industrial Revolution in England the ship building industry in Scotland and Ulster wouldn’t have occurred not forgetting these Nations receive massive subsidies from England.