The idea of a crackdown on tax avoidance is hugely popular, but George Osborne proposes giving HMRC the power to seize money from people’s accounts – a statist measure that lacks due process. Rather than going after giant corporations such as Amazon and Google, who find devious means to avoid paying what they owe, the state is after the little people.
Erm, much as I hate the idea that HMRC has access to bank accounts it’s not actually about tax avoidance. It’s about tax evasion. Those who do, under the law, owe tax and who resolutely refuse to pay it.
And Amazon and Google: no one at all is suggesting they are guilty of tax evasion and given that they are obeying each and every law, including all of the EU’s strictures about the Single Market, it’s extremely difficult to see that they are even doing tax avoidance. But they’re certainly not doing tax evasion.
They’re just not paying as much tax as Richard Murphy thinks they ought to which is a rather different thing, non?