This post is simply fascinating. Because the conclusion that Ritchie reaches is that all the people he’s been whining about as tax avoiders are not, by his new definition, tax avoiders.
In other words, tax avoidance always embraces the risk that the wrong amount of tax might be paid, and this is true whether or not the Revenue challenge the position. There is, therefore, always the possibility that the wrong amount of tax might be paid at cost to the rest of society.
Ritchie’s new definition of tax avoidance is that if you plan something which, when HMRC challenges it, it gets reversed then therefore you were attempting to tax avoid. And if it’s not challenged then you have tax avoided: it’s that risk of reversal that makes up the definition of tax avoidance.
All of which is fascinating of course, for it means that Google, Facebook, Amazon, Vodafone, Starbucks and all the rest, all those the Murphmonster has been accusing of tax avoidance, haven’t in fact been tax avoiding. Because absolutely no one is arguing that there’s any risk at all of reversal over any of their actions. Vodafone even had it challenged and HMRC was told to bugger off by the courts.
By Ritchie’s own, new, definition none of them are tax avoiders.