Nominate Tax-Hell for the Taxation gong today

 In Gong, HMRC Investigation, Taxation

I love a gong – I mean who doesn’t right? They are great in the moment, then as time passes they become warm glowing dots on your lifeline. Aged 9 winner of tug-of-war, Aged 15 most improved student, aged 25 features editor at Sheffield City Press when it was awarded Guardian Best Student Magazine. Well I won’t go on!

The problem with Tax-Hell is that there are few gongs to be had. They are great – seriously – because they up your profile and give you credibility, I want one, I need one.

But who loves me enough to give me one?

Not HMRC, obviously – you can guess how they feel about Tax-Hell! Not the bulk of tax advisers who know this is the truth, but don’t really want people to know how bleak the system is for many people. Charities don’t want to support me because I’m too edgy, radical and critical. Then people being investigated like Tax-Hell (because it’s a very useful site) but when their case is over they just want to put it all behind them.

So when I saw that Taxation was looking for people to gong I was very interested. They’ve just extended the deadline to March 6 – a very positive omen as that’s a special day for me and it may indicate they have less applicants than they hoped for – who knows?

If you want to nominate me go to and nominate me for either:

This award honours an individual who has made an outstanding contribution in the field of tax in the past year. The judges are looking primarily at the achievements in the past 12 months but will also consider success in previous years. Past years show that this is the award where judges are most likely to override the set criteria and choose a surprising winner in order to accurately reflect the most important tax issues of the year. Nominees are often put forward by their peers, though you may also nominate yourself. Nominations are also sometimes put forward by the judges on the day, but a full written nomination is always preferable.


This award will go to an individual who, while not yet at the height of their career, is rapidly making a name for himself or herself in the tax world. It is open to those specialising in any tax discipline, and anywhere within the UK tax profession. Entries should show that the nominee is already making a real contribution well in excess of their peers, and is recognised by others as one who will be a high flyer for the future.

I have nominated myself, here is my application:

Nomination document for Nick Morgan

 At the start of 2005 Nick Morgan was working as a self-employed freelance journalist. HMRC opened an investigation into his tax return.

 Nick attended an interview (unrepresented) and was both open and truthful. He also supplied all the documents asked for.

 An investigation like this which is small and where there is full cooperation shouldn’t have lasted more than 12 months. But this went on for five years.

 The investigators were bullish and petty with HMRC showing neither proportionality nor regard to the cost (to the taxpayer) of running such a small investigation for so long.

 Nick used his journalistic skills to expose HMRC; he recorded telephone calls and interviews and carried out Freedom of Information and Data Protection searches. These investigations broke new ground and exposed the investigators as incompetent and vindictive. All this information was uploaded on a website for anybody to see.

 It soon became apparent that what was happening to Nick was typical of what was happening up and down the country.

 Nick further exposed HMRC’s underhand practices in a Sunday Times spread and other national papers.

 Since then HMRC has put pressure on its investigators to be more proportionate and to be more mindful of expense.

 To help others Nick built where he’s written broadly about tax investigation, tax law and the tactics of HMRC.

 The website has helped 100s of 1000s. Some leave comments about how has helped them. Many say, “I don’t know what I’d have done without you.”

 He’s written three ebooks which translate HMRC-speak into clear English and he also offers free tax advice (from a fully qualified advisor) to anybody who needs it.

 He’s done all of this with no funding.

 If you’ve ever wondered if one person can really make a difference, you can stop now.

Obviously the more nominations I get the better.

Thanks for your time, I’m going to brush the dust off my DJ.

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