Barclay\’s Did Not Do Any Tax Avoidance Says R. Murphy

That’s not bad, but I prefer to compare tax avoidance, which is hard to define, with tax compliance which I find easier to define. Tax compliance is seeking to pay the right amount of tax (but no more) in the right place at the right time where right means that the economic substance of the transactions undertaken coincides with the place and form in which they are reported for taxation purposes.

In that case tax avoidance happens whenever someone chooses a course of action which results in the wrong amount of tax being paid, in the wrong place and at the wrong time.

On the sale of their subsidiary the law says that no tax was due. The law also says that previous losses can be offset against future profits. Thus Barclay\’s paid the correct amount of tax at the correct time in the correct place.

Barclay\’s did not indulge in any tax avoidance therefore.

2 thoughts on “Barclay\’s Did Not Do Any Tax Avoidance Says R. Murphy”

  1. No, he’s not wrong on the others. Well, maybe using your (as in the normal) definition of avoidance, but Richard Murphy has his own definition that looks like this:

    Avoidance = not tax-planning = evasion.

    Given that, it’s not enough for Murphy to say, “the right amount of tax in the right place” and expect tax inspectors and judges to all slip into alignment behind his planetary ego. There have to be rules that define what “right” means in each case. All these cases showed the parties followed those rules.

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