How to cut tax evasion: deregulate

Garlic smuggling

Sentenced in 2012: Murugasan Natarajan – 6 years

Background: A garlic smuggler has been jailed for six years after evading around £2 million in customs duty while importing Chinese garlic. The smuggler, who is now on the run, claimed he was importing ginger but HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) investigators found that the containers used were transported at the wrong temperature.

If we actually had free trade, ie, we deregulated it, then there would be no point in classifying garlic as ginger in order to avoid import duties.

Thus deregulation would lead to a reduction in tax evasion.

Isn\’t it odd that so few people mention this? And why in buggery are we taxing garlic imports anyway?

10 comments on “How to cut tax evasion: deregulate

  1. ‘We’ tax garlic imports from outside the EU to protect the subsidies going to the calabrian mafia for growing garlic in Italy.

    http://www.independent.ie/national-news/courts/fury-over-sixyear-jail-term-for-garlic-tax-scam-3045706.html

    “Under EU law, the duty on garlic stands at €120 per 100kg plus 9.6pc of the total value.

    Dublin Circuit Criminal Court heard the import duty on garlic is “inexplicably” high and can be up to 232pc.

    In contrast, onions have an import duty of just 9pc.”

    There you have it folks, can we leave yet ?

  2. Why not grow your own? I grow enough in my Kentish garden from 3×12 ft rows to keep me in garlic the year round, and still have enough for seed for next year’s crop. The stuff grows wild certainly as far north as east Fife.

  3. By a curious coincidence, I dropped into the little Chinese grocer on the way home yesterday & the two items I bought were garlic & ginger. Beautiful garlic too. Really plump & fresh. Much better than the supermarket has.
    Should I hand myself in to the authorities?

  4. The Thought Gang – “I think that ‘so few people mention it’ because it’s the logical (if not the moral) equivalent of cutting violent crime by legalising mugging.”

    Yeah, but no, but yes. Actually if our moronic rulers had ever read any history, they would be aware of Britain’s long and torturous history of trying to impose excise on alcohol. Eventually people figured out that low and broad taxes reduced the incentive to smuggle so much that everyone paid the duty.

    It is hardly as if this is a secret either.

    That is the real comparison.

  5. Hang on, let me see if I have this straight. Since I was just looking it up, I know that the duty on a litre of wine is about £2.50. Close as makes no difference, that’s a kilo of wine.

    Is the duty on garlic genuinely 50% of the duty on wine? Or only imported garlic?

    “If we actually had free trade, ie, we deregulated it, then there would be no point in classifying garlic as ginger in order to avoid import duties.”

    To be fair, whilst I’m in favour of free trade, one could achieve the same effect, in this instance, by exempting Chinese garlic – because there is in fact some difference in what you get.

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