Sunday, 19 September 2010

I'm a tax mitigator, you're a tax avoider, he's a tax evader

So Danny Alexander is to crack down on 'tax avoiders and tax evaders' is he? Many of you will now be mumbling that tax avoidance is quite legal, whilst tax evasion is the naughty thing, and how exactly is he to crack down on tax avoidance. Well, it seems as though avoidance is legal but - note this carefully - is a course of conduct designed to subvert or defeat the evident intention of Parliament. As opposed to tax mitigation, which exploits tax advantages foreseen by Parliament.

Legislation against tax avoidance may also, and sometimes has been, retroactive.

Now, I choose to buy my cigarettes at £2.90 a packet including all taxes rather than at £6.50 a packet including taxes. As far as I'm concerned, I'm a tax mitigator. Parliament has made specific laws with conditions I must fulfil; I must be a personal shopper, and the cigarettes must be for my own consumption. HMRC have issued explicit guidance (after being faced with being dragged through the courts) that I may bring into the UK up to 3,200 cigarettes a time without having to justify why. So this is clearly tax mitigation, yes?

Good. Glad that's clear.


Woodsy42 said...

What they are suggesting is that a legal act becomes illegal if they decide it thwarts the will of parliament.
The thin end of an interesting and dangerous wedge.
You really have to wonder if these people are really so unbelievably stupid they can't see where they are headed, or are just evil!

Anonymous said...

When you get lung cancer I hope you go abroad having not paid tax to the NHS. :)

Raedwald said...

Anon - Yes, if I develop any serious illness I shall insist on being treated in a clean, safe and efficient French hospital, of course.