The definition of tax avoidance

Ritchie attempts to come back and insist that Oxfam weren’t tax avoiding but Amazon were. There’s a couple of fun points, for example, “Did they take the risk of their arrangements being challenged by HMRC when adopting this structure?”. Well, yes, Oxfam did. Because HMRC used to routinely deny those very arrangements. Which is why the use of them is quite modern.

But the really fun one is:

“Has what they did been subject to mainstream political criticism?”

That is, if Margaret Lady Hoxja accuses you of tax avoidance this is then to be used as proof that you are tax avoiding.

Or, as we might put it, tax avoidance is you paying less tax than Richard Murphy thinks you should be paying.

18 thoughts on “The definition of tax avoidance”

  1. Did he just define himself to be in the mainstream? I thought he preferred to be the plucky outsider shouting at the walls of the Establishment?

  2. Drat, I thought the definition of tax avoidance had been nailed down this week, that being those practices waiting to be reviewed or challenged by the tax authorities and the courts, and then they become either compliant or evasion.
    Like that period at the airport between collecting your bag and leaving the red channel.

  3. Dear Mr Worstall

    You are wasting my time. The crucial question is whether they have been subject to consumer boycott. Csndidly, Amazon certainly has and you can read about it in my ebook ‘The Joy if Tax’, available through Amazon.

    Yours sincerely
    Professor Richard Murphy
    Political Economist
    Public Academic
    Tax Expert

  4. Tim

    I particularly liked another point ‘was what they did acceptable to the man on the Clapham Omnibus’? Who had any idea that Murphy was so in tune with the needs of the common man? What an absolute tool – not hard to see why Murphy Richards had to throw in the towel – it really is beyond parody….

  5. Time for a new campaign:

    “Got a load of old shit you want to get of? Don’t give it to charity, take it to Oxfam. They will sell it for you and give you 97% of what they sold if for.”

  6. Noel nails it, what is actually happening.

    I do love Ritchie’s reliance on HMRC’s guidance, or rather the guidance of the individual officer who happened to sit down and write it that way on that day. Because by setting out that the donor should sign the soft aid forms when handing over the goods, before they’re sold, she (or he of course) has opened up HMRC’S guidance itself to a Ramsay construction.

    Ritchie once tried to articulate the Ramsay principle; I still snort my tea back out through my nose just thinking about it. Suffice to say, if you give goods to an agent to sell for you…and agree beforehand they can keep the money…then they are not acting as your agent; you have donated the goods and they are selling those goods for.themsleves.

  7. “I do love Ritchie’s reliance on HMRC’s guidance”

    Didn’t HMRC argue that their “guidance” isn’t the law, as evidenced by the way they screwed Gaines-Cooper by changing the “guidance”? Hence the new non-residency test.

  8. I boycott Oxfam, though to be fair, it is not because of its tax affairs but because it’s a stinking, commie, bastard organisation that advocates on global warming.

  9. Noel

    I had a lovely evening out in Geneva a couple of years ago, at the end of which a certain Mr Gaines-Cooper Jnr put the bill for the quite large group on his credit card. So he’s doing all right, don’t worry yourself about him too much.

    But you’re right, HMRC guidance is NOT law.

  10. I don’t get it.

    We spend centuries fighting against the Divine Right of Kings, against arbitrary rule by Monarchs and for the rule of law to mean the same for every man, rulers and ruled alike, and now idiot SJWs want to throw the whole rule of law out and reinstate a sort of Star Chamber of tax, whereby the tax you owe will depend on who you know and who you happen to have pissed off along the way.

    Its all utterly insane.

  11. Jim>

    TDRoK’s been widely misunderstood. Charles I was beheaded for insisting on it, but what’s not widely known these days is that he insisted it was the god-given right of the people to be protected by their king from their lords and politicians.

  12. Dave,

    Aren’t we now discussing the god-given right of the hoi polloi to be protected by their Murphmeister from neo-liberal companies and politicians?

  13. It was only a few weeks ago that he was alleging HMRC of criminal conspiracy in tax evasion. A month is a long time in Progressive politics.

  14. In the societies that Ritchie admires, denunciation is itself evidence of guilt.

    As is the goose-step.

  15. I see the worlds greatest tax expert is now claiming that his list of considerations as to whether tax avoidance is occurring or not is based on government policy/

    Seriously, you could not make it up.

    And he has made some thoughtful and incisive comments on the Project Blue stamp duty case which amounts to kicking HMRC

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