Two things stand out from his evidence to Parliament:
Work on this submission has been supported by funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 727145.
Yup, he’s taking money from foreigners to influence our law. Nice, eh?
Explanatory note re terms used in this submission
In this report tax evasion is defined as an act involving dishonesty that results in less tax being paid than was legally due. As example, income, gains or transactions are not declared as required by law or they are deliberately incorrectly declared so that less tax appears to be due than is actually the case.
In contrast, tax avoidance is considered to be an action believed by the taxpayer (or their accountant or lawyer) to be within the scope of tax law but which uses loopholes, allowances and reliefs in ways that the law never intended. This abuse can be within a country. So, for example, it remains unclear whether it not the habit of many contractors within the UK of forming limited companies and paying themselves by way of dividends and not salary to avoid national insurance charges that would otherwise be due on their income is exploitation of a loophole or a scheme of which the government tacitly approves although a steady range of measures to attack it from the government in recent years suggests the latter. Sometimes tax avoidance exploits differences between types of law e.g. exploiting company law to incorporate to reduce or defer a tax bill. And some is exploitation of the differences between different countries legal systems that rarely interact with each other neatly, meaning that myriad opportunities for not paying tax are available. It is these international loopholes that tech companies, for example, have exploited to reduce their effective tax rates to next to nothing whilst still adamantly claiming that they pay all the taxes that are due by them in each country in which they are operating. Technically that is true, but it is also disingenuous because they all know that the structures that they have put in place are intended to reduce those liabilities.
Precisely because the boundaries between tax evasion and tax avoidance are often hard to identify tax justice campaigners now choose to ignore the distinction between the two, suggesting it is not useful. They instead suggest that both should be called tax abuse because the motivation is similar in that both invariably ensures that tax is not paid at the right rate, by the right person, in the right place and at the right time.
I entirely ignore the legality of anything because the law doesn’t say what I think it should.
Pretty good when talking to the people who make the law, eh?
No doubt there’s more there to be found but I’m afraid I have something important to go and do. Arses don’t wipe themselves you know.