Battle of the taxes: Avoidance vs evasion

Tax avoidance is a subject which always generates heated debates here on AccountingWEB. This week I met with Robert-Gaines Cooper - a recurring name in such debates since he has fought what has to be one of the longest ever court battles with HMRC on the subject.

He was very keen to make a distinction between tax avoidance and tax evasion - something he believes HMRC no longer does. "Avoidance of taxes is the right thing to do (as long as it’s legal); evasion is illegal,” he stressed.

Whatever your views on the subject, it seems that a lot of businesses remain confused about the definition of tax avoidance. In HMRC's latest survey of large UK firms, less than half said they were 'very confident' about what constitutes tax avoidance, while less than half (45%) said they thought HMRC understood their commercial needs.

We'd be keen to hear members views on this controversial subject. Click here to add your comments to the debate.

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