Meacher pushes for anti-avoidance law

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Labour MP Michael Meacher is to table a Private Member's Bill that hopes to stop tax avoidance “for good”.

The Bill is an attempt to create the first General Anti-Tax Avoidance Principle in UK tax law.

The proposed Bill comes as the consultation ends on the government’s planned general anti-abuse rule (GAAR), which is designed to tackle “aggressive” tax avoidance.

Critics of the proposed GAAR, say that it isn’t tough enough and won’t make much difference in countering abuse of the tax system.

Unlike the government’s GAAR, the new Anti-Avoidance Bill covers VAT and national insurance, Meacher said.

It also clamps down on people who shift income from one tax to another in order to reduce their tax bill.

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Another Murphys law?

Is it just me or is this wrong in just too many ways?

"Meacher’s bill would not stop any tax measures that are encouraged by law and would let taxpayers tell HMRC what they're proposing and ask for clearance," Richard Murphy.

The law says treat income tax in one way and pay 40% tax,  treat it another and pay less.

Does it not follow that you are being "encouraged by law" to treat it in another way?

How many time have we been told that HMRC "advice" does not protect you from

prosecution.

 

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hmmm...

at least this article explains the sloppy drafting of the proposed private members Bill (with the emphasis on 'member' here, I think...)

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The Bill is NOT "an attempt to create the first GAAP"

The Bill is simply an attempt to get PR for the promoters - Murphy and Meacher

Everyone involved must know it will be effectively ignored by the Government who have been consulting on an independently drafted GAAR. The  Government's objective is to stop aggressive tax schemes but to limit the impact on day to day tax planning. Plenty of lawyers say it won't work but most commentators accept the GAAR is necessary and the least worst option at this time.

Surely no one has any expectation that an alternative, more wide reaching concept drafted by one campaigner and which has not been subject to any informed consultation could become law.

Worse than Murphy and Meacher are the Labour MPs who know nothing about tax laws but who are jumping on the bandwagon to get some PR (plus ca change).

Remember it was their Chancellors who introduced so much rushed, poorly drafted and ineffective tax law; and it was Brown who instituted the staff cuts at HMRC that the Government is only now reversing.

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Dangerous dogs

Hopefully this bill will be thrown out, otherwise it will be another kneejerk reaction creating more problems than it solves just as the statutes on hand guns (breech loading no, muzzle loading yes), hunting with (walking with two terriers which suddenly chase a hare, is hunting with dogs) and dangerous dogs defined by "type" (nothing to cover dangerous owners) do.

Bringing in a one size fits all taxes is a nightmare waiting to be dreamed.

 

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As Mark says

nobody of importance is going to take any notice of this bill. Tax avoidance isn't actually something that you can legislate against. There certainly are artificial schemes which can be deemed tax evasion, which really would be the best approach. Is purposely keeping your income  below the vat threshold tax avoidance? Of course it is. It can be argued that the turnover had been kept artificially low in order not to pay vat. 

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