HMRC Is Shite

HMRC Is Shite
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.

Friday, 30 October 2009

Spin II

Ironically, a few days after I wrote this:

"Lumping tax avoidance with tax evasion is part of the ongoing game of media spin and manipulation being played by the government and HMRC, to make people think of them as the same.

They are not the same!

Like it or not, tax avoidance is legitimate and will be with us as long as there are taxes

Mike Warburton, private client director at Grant Thornton, was quoted in Accountancy Age:

"The government has tried to treat avoidance and evasion as if one is leading into the other.

It's perfectly clear avoidance is legal, evasion isn't; but the Revenue is trying to muddy the lines between them

Tax does have to be taxing.

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1 comment:

  1. Setting aside the fact that you seem to subscribe to Alanis Morisette's extremely loose definition of the word "ironic"...

    Grant Thornton have an obvious and massive vested interest in this matter, so what is ironic is that you accuse the government of spin and then quote someone else's spin to support your argument.

    Having said that, you are correct that avoidance is legal (though you've never answered the questions I've put to you about avoidance that turns out not to work) while evasion is illegal. It is not entirely outrageous to interpret government statements as an attempt to blur the line, though I don't accept that's what is happening - what they're doing is saying they want to tackle both. Monitoring and where necessary addressing avoidance is essential - if a government fails to do so it leads to a distortion of the democratic process! I am not saying that engaging in avoidance is necessarily immoral, but it would be immoral for the government to leave it completely unchecked.

    Central to this is the point that we always argue about: avoidance as I use the word above, and as the government and HMRC use it IS NOT THE SAME AS ORDINARY TAX PLANNING. There's an important - though very hard to define - dividing line. Stop spinning away this line. To do so is misleading and unhelpful, as it diverts attention from the more important, more difficult and much more interesting question: where this line actually lies!