22 March 2009

Tax Avoidance

"... tax evasion is crminal finacial planning carried out to avoid the payment of a tax that has already fallen due, whereas tax avoidance is a legitimate financial estate planning carrried out to prevent a tax from falling due in the first place."

Todd & Watts Cases and Materials on Trusts by Gary Watt p21.

We seem to forget that every one of us avoids taxation. We buy duty free goods, we pay tax at the rates set by the State rather than paying more than those rates; yet we seem to scream when other people avoid paying taxes that they don't have to pay, eg

"Fear, revenge and ingenious tax deals – life on the top floor at Barclays"

""Hidden away on the top floor of 5 The North Colonnade sit the formidable Barcap SCM (Structured Capital Markets) team, ... [a] team of some 110 people with the sole purpose of structuring tax-aggressive transactions to avoid tax not only for Barclays but also for banks and companies across the world ..."

If this sort of thing bothers you, go to your nearest inland revenue and ask them what forms you need to fill in so that you can pay tax at double the current rate. If you don't, you're just like the rest of us, people who avoid paying tax if they can help it.

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