Obvious, innit?

So perhaps rather than bemoaning the failure on the part of activists and journalists to distinguish between avoidance and evasion, as if it was all very clear and rational to those in the know, those who promulgate these scholastic taxonomies could try to come up with a compelling reason why there is one category of tax lie that is treated by the criminal law as fraud, and another category of tax lie which does not even attract a civil penalty.

Because one type of tax lie is against the law and the other type isn’t.

And out law is very clear on these things. Something which is specifically illegal is illegal. Something which is not specifically illegal is not illegal.

To change that one would have to move from a common law system to a Roman law one.

At which point, of course, you can fuck right off.

25 thoughts on “Obvious, innit?”

  1. Because tax avoidance isn’t a tax lie. If it was it would be fraud. He can quote as many QCs as he wants say g the proposition of fact is often as false as the proposition of law, it is rubbish. If the fact is false then look to prosecute; if it isn’t then stop trying to invent a new category called “tax lie”.

    P.S. The service company for your childrens’ nanny is by your own definition a fraud.

  2. The service company for your children’s nanny is a fraud, yes. There is fairly specific legislation to that effect. However if your nanny works for you on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays; and for another family on Tuesdays and Thursdays; then it’s no longer a fraud. Simple, isn’t it?

  3. It is not a lie if a Court says “you did X and thought the tax consequences were Y. But we’ve decided you were wrong.”
    And until the Court decides who’s to judge it was wrong/abusive avoidance?
    Look at EBTs. Which involves lies, Rangers or PA?

  4. Presumably nanny A can work for couple X on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, and for couple Y on Tuesday and Thursday, while nanny B works for couple X on Tuesday and Thursday and couple Y on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Pater gets variety in the rumpy pumpy and it’s tax efficient.

  5. You are confusing Roman Law with the codified continental systems. I can’t remember any principle of Roman Law which says that any act not specifically allowed is forbidden. Also I am not sure that any type of lie is permitted. That would be fraud. Arranging one’s tax affairs according to the law is presumably what parliament intended one should do. This should not involve lying.

  6. Where do the lies come in? Tax avoidance doesn’t require or rely on lies. If you’ve done it right you can tell the Revenue exactly what you’ve done (as the likes of Amazon do) and there’s still no tax to pay.

  7. If nannies A and B each have regular set days with couples X and Y, then each of them probably has two part-time employments.

  8. Otherwise as taking the rest of the year off. Were I to be self employed and I know pretty much how much money I’m going to donate to the taxman and want to minimized it, I can choose the date after which I can stop generating income and avoid those taxes. Now, this is classified as tax avoidance, and characterized as evil by the likes of Richard Murphy.

  9. But this is the damage done by Murphy and his like.

    They have effectively set the debate so that any action which doesn’t result in the most tax you could possibly pay in a given situation is implicitly dodgy.

    Even Murphy’s odious explanations of a company’s actions (“I stress they have done nothing illegal”) are flavoured with a sub-text (this company is cheating).

    Our only hope is the Overton’s window effect. The economy picks up, tax receipts come rolling in, the public’s attention shifts elsewhere, rational debate returns and Murphy is consigned to the political backwater he belongs in.

  10. AndyC

    Look at the comment from James Lloyd and Ritchie’s response. They are totally clear and unapologetic on their tactics of redefining language. It’s classic Gramsci.

    (Actually, reading it again James Lloyd is so clear in his exposition of the tactics I’m wondering if he’s trolling. Poe’s Law applies a lot at Ritchie’s place).

  11. What would James Lloyd do when faced with the fact that more “effective” tax collection could mean lower rates?
    HMRC has collected billions and billions above forecast. HMG has cut main CT rate to 20%.
    And maybe time to ask Ritchie if he believes there’s no difference between evasion and avoidance?

  12. Laws are irrelevant as far as socialists are concerned.

    Look at Hodge. She voted for and supported the current tax laws. She believes in the omnipotence of the EU.

    But she still rails against people who obey the laws she put in place.

    You couldn’t make it up, really.

  13. ‘Any sufficiently advanced troll is indistinguishable from a genuine kook’!

    I have to agree with GlenDorran – I think James Lloyd has to be a troll – the ongoing references to ‘Civil Society’ would seem to indicate thus.

    One commenter who is not a troll, though, is number one on the blog entry, the appalling Carol Wilcox, someone who is quite comfortable supporting Mass Murder so long as the victims ‘warranted it as part of the class struggle’. Between this and Murphy’s association with people praising Nazi policies and those who would fund ISIS sympathizers, the outline of the Courageous State is becoming clearer, at least in terms of a ‘Final Solution’ to the ‘neoliberal question’

  14. Tax avoidance needs further distinction, between UK tax avoidance, and all tax avoidance. If you are paying tax to another country as defined by the laws of this country, then you are not avoiding tax at all.

  15. So Much for Subtlety

    those who promulgate these scholastic taxonomies could try to come up with a compelling reason why there is one category of tax lie that is treated by the criminal law as fraud, and another category of tax lie which does not even attract a civil penalty.

    To accept this is a lie is to sell out the argument and accept an incorrect premise. We are free to arrange our tax matters as we wish. The State does not try to find a window into our souls and determine what we really intended. If I do something and it happens to minimise tax, the State does not know if I do it for innocent reasons or guilty reasons. That is, they do not know and cannot know if a lie is involved. What Parliament has done is said that some things are unacceptable ways to structure our tax and anything else is therefore acceptable.

  16. So Much for Subtlety

    And incidentally, I have to sign my tax declarations. Most things the government demands of me, as it happens. By signing I am promising that whatever I have told them is the truth.

    It is beyond presumptuous of anyone to suggest that anyone else is lying. But if they are, it is a crime.

  17. AndyC “Our only hope is the Overton’s window effect. The economy picks up, tax receipts come rolling in, the public’s attention shifts elsewhere, rational debate returns and Murphy is consigned to the political backwater he belongs in”

    There is another, more likely beacon of hope, and that is total societal collapse, and wholesale breakdown of law and order; at which point we can go out and hang all these fuckers.

  18. “To change that one would have to move from a common law system to a Roman law one.”

    Which is exactly what the EU is moving towards, of course.

  19. Came across someone yesterday calling for amazon to pay its fair share of tax.
    Begs the question why do they want amazon to pay more tax in Luxumberg?

  20. So john77 points out to him the current negative real interest rates.

    Ritchie responds “you are wasting my time”.

    He really doesn’t let facts get in his way, does he?

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