I have been looking at the Taxpayer's Alliance website and they do seem to be very well organised.
But I would like to see a hard and focussed attack on current rates of CT, Income Tax, and NI because these are the demotivators to entrepreneurs. I am not so bothered about council tax, tax on beer and cider, etc, etc.
The Taxpayer's Alliance does look to be a good organisation but in relation to the three taxes I have mentioned above I feel something BIG and innovative is needed. Something that gets into the press on the front pages. Something that makes it politically diffiuclt for the government to ignore.
Airline staff strike and cause chaos.
The anti capitalists have huge demonstrations in London.
Those that oppose fracking attend protests
I am sure there must be something the overtaxed of Britain could do. I am just not sure what it is.
Of course I am a bit of a hypocrit I suppose because having made the above post entitled "The problem with the British," I probably ought to be organising this mysef!!
The problem with the British
I believe the media are massively at fault because the media continues to spout the moral line and does not challenge and question the government. If the media did, there might be some downward pressure on levels of tax.
But there is another problem. The British people.
We are by nature too compliant.
When the French feel passionately about something they do something about it.
Perhaps we should start a campaign for fairer taxes?
I think if the people of Britain and British businesses were to campaign for lower and fairer taxes the government might do something about it because it would become politically easier. Deomcracy at its best.
I would be interested to see how many people would be interested in supporting a campaign for lower and fairer taxes. I am sure it must be possible to do something on Facebook or Twitter or something like that.
mwngiol, please don't take offence. This is a subject that really gets people going! I am afraid I also think your view is wrong (I respect your right to have it, but I don't think it is the correct view). Most of the people I have met who have carried out aggressive avoidance are not totally against paying tax. They have just felt that the proportion of their profits that end up going to the tax man has gone beyond the pale. They consider that when they take risks to create wealth for all of us that they should not be penalised. Let's not forget that many risk everything they own to make the profits they make. Most that I know have commented that they would not carry out avoidance schemes if tax was fair. Taxing a risk taker to the extent of 50% of his profits is not fair. It is a disincentive to take risk and build businesses. That is why avoidance is rife. Frankly I do not blame entrepreneurs for doing it. Our government is at fault and needs to make tax fairer before the talent all moves abroad. ANd mwngiol, don't you feel like you are letting the government off the hook by signing up to this moral argument? They only put the moral argument out there to score votes and disguise the fact that taxes are too high. You are doing what the government and HMRC want you to do instead of making them feel uncomfortable and forcing them to look at the real issues that need solving.
I am afraid I just don't buy
I am afraid I just don't buy (and never did buy) this "moral" argument about tax avoidance.
Tax is not a question of morals - it is a question of law.
If tax were a moral issue people would pay it voluntarily.
As a result, there are laws.
This "moral" argument is simply politicians scoring votes without really even attempting to solve the underlying problems. It was started by Gordon Brown and regretably perpetuated by the Coalition. And the press and the people of Britain have blindly bought into it.
We may not like it that entrepreneurs avoid tax in the way they do - but why do we persist in blaming the entrepreneurs and the tax advisors and branding them immoral?
It is the government (for the last 15 years) that has failed, not the entrepreneurs and the tax advisors.
And the more we sign up to this moral argument, the more we give the government a free pass to ignore the root causes.
We play into the politicians hands when we sign up to this moral argument.
The British people (and the media) need to start holding their government accountable instead of buying into their spin. We are not here to swallow what our government does and says but to challenge and quesiton it.
I hope Mr Osborne does read this thread and I hope he will be the man who takes action to try to make Britain a place that is once again fit for adventurers and entrepreneurs - because at the moment we penalise the industrious and encourage dependancy - and that is why tax avoidance has become so heavily used.
jamesashburton - you are right too!
I am so glad you made the point about Margaret Hodge. I can't bare to watch her on the television anymore. Everything you say is right on the mark. And there are so many other politicians (some very senior) with similar trust arrangements - from all parties. And yet politicians seem blind to the glaring hypocrisy. It makes my blood boil.
Our nation has completely lost faith in politicians and this whole debate about tax shows just why. They are tackling the wrong issues (becuase they think it wins votes) rather than creating a sensible tax policy designed to let our entrepreneurs off the leash and create wealth. Our country needs wealth creators now more than ever since the war.
I did a quick calculation. If an entrepreneur's company makes £300k in a year, by the time they have paid themselves a small salary, paid the CT, and drawn the rest as a dividend he or she will have paid in the region of £150k in tax.
On what planet is that a tax policy to encourage entrepreneurs to take risks to build businesses and create wealth?
No wonder they resort to avoidance schemes.
But it's not just the politicians.
The media are at fault as well.
The newspapers bang on about tax avoidance but fail to make big news of the really important underlying issues - like the fact that our tax policy is desgned to penalise and not to motivate. If instead they made big news of the real issues it would force the politicians to deal with those issues.
My Starbucks is very tasty. A skinny latte with two shots of espresso.
AndyC555 is right
Andy - I quite agree.
Politicians these days seem to have completely forgotten the Laffer curve - unlike Margaret Thatcher and Geoffrey Howe who appreciated the Laffer curve very well.
What also bugs me is the amount of time, money and energy spent chasing down tax avoidance while tax evasion (the real offence) barely seems to get a mention. Benefit fraud (a criminal offence) also barely seems to get a mention. I'd love to see a comparison of how much our government spends chasing benefit fraud as compared with tax avoidance.
How can it be right that people who simply trouser the money are less under the spotlight than people who make proper disclosure? It's like arresting the racing drivers at Brands Hatch for breaking the speed limit but ignoring reckless drivers on the public highway.
But what is really crazy is that in my email inbox this morning, the email above AccountingWeb's email about this article was an email from Taxwise about the Mehjoo v Harben Barker case! So on the one hand HMRC and the government want to shame advisors into not offering avoidance schemes and on the other hand the courts want to punish advisors for NOT offering them. We can't win.
Andy has the answer. Lower taxes.
No entrpreneur would bother with an avoidance scheme if corporation tax was only 10%. I don't think a reduction to 10% would not cause a huge loss to the exchequor because the tax take from corporation is not that high anyway (most of the tax take comes from income tax, NI and VAT). But a low corporation tax rate of 10% would almost certainly attract companies to the UK from abroad - and they would employ people - which would mean an increase in income tax, NI and (by virtue of increased spending) VAT. A tax rate of 10% would probably attract Google, Amazon, and others away from Ireland to the UK - so the government could stop moralising over those companies as well.
I am sure somebody will log on and tell me my view is "morally repugnant". I am sorry, I don't agree. It's just economic good sense.
This silly moral crusade against avoidance has dragged on and on - but what really needs to happen is for our politicians to wake up and have sensible policies on tax.
I am now thirsty and off to Starbucks for a coffee.