Oh dear, don't you just "love" politicians and the way that they twist things to suit their mood?
David Gauke, the Exchequer secretary to the Treasury, gave a speech on Wednesday at the annual ICAEW Hardman Memorial Lecture.
Gauke said that he knew that tax advisers often got frustrated with people conflating legitimate tax planning, avoidance and evasion. However, he said that the government was looking to clamp down on avoidance and would use the "bonfire of the the tax reliefs" (my words, not his) as a means to that end.
He tried to mollify his audience by saying that the government is really only trying to target instances where reliefs and exemptions are used in a "highly artificial way".
He would say that, wouldn't he?
However, as per Accountancy Age:
"There's also times when it's perfectly clear what the law intends - where reliefs and exemptions are then used in a highly artificial way.
In these instances, people use their resources - and their talents - to twist the law and create results that everyone knows are simply too good to be true."
Dare I say that as the law is made by parliament, theoretically on the basis of advice by HMRC, that it is up to the politicians to create legislation that is clear and not open to being "twisted"?
Sadly, most especially as there is a £4.8 Trillion debt, the law will be interpreted by HMRC and the politicians in the way that suits their purposes best. This is why (despite whining from Gauke et al) taxpayers need tax advisers to use their skills, talents and resources to their very best.
Tax does have to be taxing.
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