Tax avoidance, on the other hand always, and without exception, increases your tax risk. That is because you are doing something about which there is uncertainty. in that case, many tax advisers would suggest that you got a tax barrister’s opinion to confirm that your action was legal, as defence against any counterclaim from HMRC. Examples might be claiming allowance for expenses where it is not certain that these are due in law, or using an offshore structure when the motive could be questioned. In all such cases the taxpayer’s risk is increased by undertaking the transaction. That is what tax avoidance involves.
So, given that what Amazon does is written directly into the law – warehouses to do create permanent establishments for the purposes of corporation tax – they have not needed to get an opinion and thus they are tax planning, not tax avoiding.
Nice to get that finally settled, eh?