Front page the Times (9th) Another big TAX scam Story

(7 Posts)
digdeepforanswers Wed 09-Jul-14 11:12:00

Do these stories suprise any of you? Or is it par for the course?

niceguy2 Wed 09-Jul-14 15:53:23

Tax evasion is illegal and therefore everyone understands it's wrong.

Tax avoidance is legal even if sometimes it's immoral. But everyone has different morals.

The general impression I get is people only get upset about tax avoidance when someone else is doing it. But I have this sneaky feeling that most if they could avoid paying a tax they certainly would do so.

CogitoErgoSometimes Fri 11-Jul-14 09:51:47

I agree with the PP. It's a clash of legality and morality. Plenty of things are legal but immoral. Clever people who know about tax exploit loopholes & find inventive legal ways to reduce the tax bill of their clients.... clever people at HMRC try to close the loopholes. The latter are always a step behind the former because our tax system is relatively complex with too many special cases and obscure exemptions.

I think we mostly get upset about tax avoidance when - unlike the millionaire Gary Barlow types who can afford the clever tax accountants - we are hemmed into a joyless PAYE system where the tax is deducted before we even see the money, there are no exemptions, no allowances and no opportunities to pay less tax, even if we wanted to.

digdeepforanswers Sat 12-Jul-14 11:18:40

I suppose HMG would do something about it if they really wanted to. They think big business do as they like full stop. And the country needs big business.

digdeepforanswers Sat 12-Jul-14 11:19:28

I think Jon Snows Channel 4 TV tries hard to achieve change

CogitoErgoSometimes Sat 12-Jul-14 14:02:23

HMG/HMRC is doing something about it, that's why we're hearing these stories. But personal finance specialists are highly motivated & well-rewarded for finding loopholes and it takes the HMRC guys time to catch up. The big one is 'tax evasion' which is totally illegal, attracts jail sentences and keeps the fraud teams busy enough. Tax avoidance is more nuanced - less black and white - and difficult to prosecute. Nothing to do with big business, really. Avoiding tax is a drain on the country's coffers.

I think people get angry about because we mere mortals pay our fair share, while many of the rich manage to indulge in all sorts of tricks to avoid paying what is actually due. It's artifice, not legitimate business - none of those guys genuinely believed they were investing in films because they care about films, and Amazon/Google don't actually make all their UK sales in Ireland/Luxembourg/any other tax haven they care to use.

People realise they are being ripped off and quite rightly resent it. Especially after the finance industry crashed the world economy, plunging the rest of into the shit with their greed and stupidity, yet they are now carrying on just as before.

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