TAX OPINION: Avoidance - all in a knight's work. By Simon Sweetman

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Here's a simple question. What is the government's attitude to tax avoidance?

If we listen to Treasury ministers it is very clear that they don't like it, and that dislike frequently extends even to quite mundane and small scale examples.

So what are we to make ' in particular ' of the knighthood bestowed upon Philip Green in the Birthday Honours list?

First we need to agree on some basic facts. We can assume that it is a polite fiction that it is the sovereign who makes the decisions and that the executive arm of the government has nothing to do with it. One can suppose that these arrangements have survives from the feudal system out of simple inertia, or even (heaven forbid!) because Prime Ministers find it useful, but in my innocence I have assumed that the point of the honours system is '...

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28th Jun 2006 18:09

is it a duck?
Someone once said “if it looks like a duck, walks like d. and sounds like a d. , it is a duck”.

It is easy to state without fear of any contradiction/writs that Phillip Green of Arcadia is engaged in massive tax avoidance, which at present is not illegal, merely totally immoral.

I do find it surprising that a transaction of £1.2bn. can escape the tax net without being caught by Gordon’s “dodgy tax scheme” registration system.

This sad event merely highlights how everyone regards it as fair game to only pay the amount of tax THEY think is OK, rather than our esteemed governments’ idea of what’s fair.

Unfortunately I estimate most will pay about 20-25%, whereas the government demands 33-41%, so the gap is around 15% ?

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28th Jun 2006 19:16

Simon, its no good moaning about tax payers who are clever enough to set their affairs so that they pay the minimum tax possible within the legal system.
Instead you and all the other moaners should get your heads together and come up with a collection system to pay for what our government of the day needs to run this country which is fair and doesn't lend itself to abuse.
The present system is unmanageable and the more you tinker with it the more it will lend itself to abuse.
If all the brains in this country cannot come up with such a system then we must be in a very sorry state.
Here's just one idea. A body seperate to the government run the finances. This will have the effect of the system of money collection not being political.
Come on you moaners lets have some really original suggestions.

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28th Jun 2006 16:15

tax avoidance
If setting up an elaborate and costly structure of interlocking comapnise and trusts, including two Channel Islands companies that appear to own each other, all for no apparent reason other than paying less tax, is not tax avoidance, then I don't know what it is.

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26th Jun 2006 18:34

Again !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
How many times do we have to go down this route????????????????
There is no such thing as "TAX AVOIDANCE".
If legislators cannot put into plain English what Parliament want to achieve then they should go back to the drawing board.
When a system becomes unmanageable there is only one solution and that is to start again.
At least then we might get rid of the hypocrosy within the Tax system.

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