A very strange proposition from Ritchie

Let’s say it now – general anti-avoidance rules increase certainty and are good for honest business

The aim is to move tax law from what the law as passed by Parliament actually says is the law to some ethereal spirit of the law. To, in short, whatever HMRC thought the law passed by Parliament should have been.

This increases certainty how?

This is interesting too:

It provides a level playing field where honest business knows it will not be undercut by dishonest business;

This can only be true if taxation of business is damaging to business. As we don\’t actually want to damage business therefore we should stop taxing business, no?

4 comments on “A very strange proposition from Ritchie

  1. Our friend is channelling the language of senior HMRC folk – I was speaking to one yesterday who told me about their nascent “get people to pay tax on ebay trading” activity. The entire message (other than “we need the money”) was that “level playing field” argument with encouragement – maybe even incentive – to shop people you think are dodging taxes on their on-line trading

  2. Simon, that’s hardly surprising. He’s funded by the PCS. Of course he talks their language.

  3. What amazes me is why we take Murphy’s inane and uneducated ramblings seriously.

    He is no more a “tax expert” than most of us are nuclear physicists.

    There is no substance to his research, he generally refers to his won research and that of his acolytes and paymasters. We should be questioning what tax qualifications he actually holds and therein lies the issue – he is totally unqualified to speak on tax matters apart from imparting a populist view sponsored by the TUC.

  4. Are general anti-avoidance rules ever really simple and clearcut once the courts have deconstructed them? I seem to recall various statements in Taxes Acts that cut little ice. Even landmark decisions of the courts themselves such as the Ramsay judgment and Furniss v Dawson cases ( which broadly said that artificial chains of transactions to avoid tax could be discounted) seem to have been fudged or hedged around over the years. Pepper v Hart (which said the law should be read as meaning what the minister said at the time that it was meant to do) appears to be more or less a dead duck, even though I heard a minister make just such a statement for that purpose in the House of Lords this week. I guess that new general anti-avoidance rules would not last long and would have to be recast at regular intervals after dissection in court cases, much as now but without being filtered by the current practice of schemes being submitted in advance to get a thumbs up/down from HMRC.

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