By far the costliest tax avoidance takes the form of the corporate structuring that has repeatedly hit the front pages in the last couple of years, whether through Starbucks\’ payment of royalties to Amsterdam, Amazon\’s Luxembourg sales hub or Vodafone\’s multibillion-pound internal financing arrangements through the same grand duchy.
But given that all of these (and many more) are expressly allowed in law they cannot, by definition, be tax avoidance. They are tax compliance: companies using the law exactly as written and intended.
What Brooks is actually arguing is that he doesn\’t think that EU law should be the way it is. Which is fine, everyone\’s allowed an opinion of course. But that is a very different argument from the statement that these things are tax avoidance.