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Dedicated to the taxpayers of Britain, and the employees of Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC), who have to endure the monumental shambles that is HMRC.
Monday, 13 February 2012
HMRC and Tax Avoidance
HMRC has rewritten its guidance to the disclosure of tax avoidance schemes (DOTAS) regime.
Although the number of schemes reported has reduced over the years, the government (ironically) is concerned that some avoidance schemes seem to be slipping the net (avoidance is of course perfectly legal).
Taxjournal reports that Graham Aaronson’s report on the merits of a general anti-avoidance rule (GAAR) concluded that "purposive interpretation [of tax legislation], specific anti-avoidance rules and DOTAS are not capable of dealing with some of the most egregious tax avoidance schemes".
Why does HMRC want to know tax arrangements, who has used such arrangements and how they work?
HMRC answer the question thus:
"On its own the disclosure of a tax arrangement has no effect on the tax position of any person who uses it.
However, a disclosed tax arrangement may be rendered ineffective by Parliament, possibly with retrospective effect."
Retrospective legislation is a step on the road to dictatorship, and the government would be advised to steer clear from that particular course of action.
Moreover it is more than a little surprising that HMRC and the government are still pushing the anti avoidance message, given that both HMRC and the government support tax avoidance eg:
- Ed Lester
- Deepak Singh
- Vodafone/Goldman Sachs
- Vodafone (again!)
Hypocrisy from the government and HMRC?
Tax does have to be taxing.
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