Re: Just say No to Amazon
"As a former small business owner, HMRC seem to take a perverse delight in putting you under their rectal exam spotlight"
This is one thing which, I think, pisses everyone off.
Individuals, except those with massive resources, and small businesses have little choice but to pay exactly what they are told in tax. Try to hedge just a little, push the rules just a tiny amount past what HMRC deems reasonable, and you are whalloped with a bill and must find a large amount to pay for lawyers and accountants to prove you are acting within the law (i.e. innocent).
Large corporations, however, get away with murder (as do the extremely wealthy, in many cases). Yes, they are acting within the law, but they take it all to extremes and pay a pittance, never seeming to be questioned by HMRC who are just happy they pay even that trifling amount.
It's quite obvious that, although the payout would be greater, HMRC would much rather challenge the little guy who can't afford an army of lawyers and accountants. IR35 is a great example of this, although HMRC's dismal record with tribunals (9 of the last 10 lost, IIRC) suggests that you may not even need an army of lawyers to defeat their incompetent arses...