The vast majority of users won't recognize the tag hmrc as meaning tax-uk, so if someone says something applicable to other localities they'll miss it. Specifically if you're from elsewhere in Europe and want to compare UK tax treatment vs your own country's vs other European countries. Or thinking of contracting in the UK.

As @Łukasz Lech points out, if we allow hmrc soon we will get mwst, gmbh, pit, krs too.

(We don't want tags for acronyms of 220+ different national or regional tax bodies do we?)

Practically none of us would recognize a question tagged 'Skatteverket' or 'Cadastro de Pessoas Físicas (CPF)' as being synonymous with 'taxes-se' or 'taxes-br'. CPF has 24 possible meanings, btw, so you can't really google it. Why be cryptic, when you can be clear?

Shouldn't we keep the tags as clear and self-explanatory as possible, avoiding location-specific and foreign-language acronyms wherever reasonable?

  • I'd have to agree with you here I think. It could set a precedent – tim.baker Apr 25 '14 at 15:32

I agree with hiroto on this. If you have a UK tax question it is a good tag. Similarly if you have a US tax question, irs would be a good tag as well.

However, I would recommend keeping these relatively minimal for now (major areas where we have lots of activity). I am not sure that wa-dor would be a good tag for Washington State business and occupation tax reporting questions....

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    I agree with both you and @Hiroto however we'll definitely need some aliasing to a generic taxes tag. – Dan Lugg Jun 5 '13 at 13:06
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    @Bracketworks however, aliasing to a generic tag effectively blacklists a tag and prevents you from using it. bad idea, imo – Amelia Jun 5 '13 at 13:18
  • @Hiroto Really? Did not realize that; I thought it just linked them for searches. – Dan Lugg Jun 5 '13 at 13:29
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    @Bracketworks the tag that an alias links to effectively becomes the tag, and all tags that are aliased become the linked-to tag, which is an effective blacklist – Amelia Jun 5 '13 at 13:30
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    FWIW, at money, there's no single taxes-* tag for any specific country. Such a question has two tags, e.g. united-states and taxes. – Chris W. Rea Jun 5 '13 at 14:12

HMRC is the tax entity for the UK. If you're from the UK and have filled in a single tax form there, you understand what HMRC is - Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs.

You wouldn't be wondering:

"what on earth is that tax entity I've been having to submit forms to yearly since a very young age?"

even if you walked into here as an absolute beginner to freelancing, either - there are several forms and modes of interaction for people and the tax entities they interact with, and hence if you have a question about it, you know what the entity is (you also get your tax ID at a pretty young age in most countries, too)

Keep in mind, Stack Exchange sites are primarily for experts. Not people waltzing in with no prior knowledge. I'm of the opinion that tax bodies should be referred to by name, not a generic tag for tax-country, because they are perfectly understandable to the people they apply to: the experts we want to attract. Those same experts are also who use the tagging system, not the googlers; the googlers look at the content, not the extra info in the tags. Those same experts will enter "HMRC", etc. as a tag.

To fit into the Stack Exchange model, instead of trying to categorize things with a single tag left, right and center, try tagging things that have commonality. Is a question about taxes? add . is a question about the UK? add .

Point is, we should really just allow these tags. They will come. And then we wave a wand and magically they become the tag . (also i should point out that GmbH isn't a tax entity, it's a limited company's initialism in Germany...)

  • If you're from elsewhere in Europe (or the world), like 95+% of this site's users, and comparing UK tax practices to your country, you wouldn't. – smci Jun 5 '13 at 15:15
  • Do you know what CA-FTB is? – smci Jun 5 '13 at 15:15
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    So you think we are free to use tags such as mwst, gmbh, pit, krs? – Danubian Sailor Jun 5 '13 at 18:28
  • @ŁukaszLech provided they have tag wikis, of course you are. – Amelia Jun 6 '13 at 7:40
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    We know what GmbH is... 'How is MWST reporting different for a GmbH than a sole trader (e.K.)?' is the obvious sort of scenario - don't want that tagged 'mwst gmbh'. I guess 'taxes legal-entities germany' would be your suggestion. – smci Jun 6 '13 at 8:02
  • @smci that would likely be a decent set of tags, yes – Amelia Jun 6 '13 at 8:03

The problem with locally understood acronyms is that they could have also a meaning in some other region, so the people from that region would also start to use it. It would lead to chaos.

Say, you want to use hmrc tag for UK-specific questions. You don't want people from other countries to understand that acronym because they are not the target audience of your question. At first it may sound as reasonable idea.

But in the other country hmrc could mean anything else, for example it could be acronym for taxi driver licence in Brasilia. So under the single tag you would have questions about tax system in UK and about the issues related with being taxi driver in Brasilia. It's no longer so great as you would expect.

The main purpose to make the tags understandable to the whole world is to prevent the situation where they can be unintentionally wrongly used.

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    Deal with those situations as they arise. Otherwise, it ain't a general problem that needs solving now. – Chris W. Rea Jun 5 '13 at 18:11
  • It's not in need of solving now because this beta has hardly any users, @Chris-W-Rea. But the general problem of deciphering whether something is too location-specific has already been discussed. Why make it harder? – smci Jun 6 '13 at 2:34
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    @smci Tags can have a wiki. If somebody is wondering what "hmrc" means, they can hover over the tag and get the definition. HMRC is idiomatic within the context of the UK, and to discard it because it doesn't have a globally recognized meaning just creates other problems. Anyway, most tags won't conflict, and those that do, let the first or more popular use win, and redefine the other. Until then, let them alone. – Chris W. Rea Jun 6 '13 at 3:09
  • Explaining the aliasing in a wiki's not good enough, for the reason I already stated: you can't see at a casual glance that 'hmrc skatteverket' is synonymous with 'taxes-uk taxes-se'. Or that those questions are related to say 'taxes-lu'. – smci Jun 6 '13 at 7:54
  • @smci at stack exchange, tags categorize things. Every single one of the taxes-* tags have something in common - taxes. Hence, taxes should probably be the tag, and then the country should be separate. Look at how Money.SE does this. – Amelia Jun 6 '13 at 8:06
  • @Hiroto, ok then. But taxes seems preferable to hmrc. I'll drop it for now. – smci Jun 6 '13 at 8:15

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