This could be bad for the Sage of Ely:
Tax avoiders are being blacklisted by the authorities to prevent them from getting knighthoods and other honours, The Times can reveal.
Well, not so much. Tax evaders, yes. And a certain amount of blocking those who are aggressive at that line between evasion and avoidance. But then we get:
However, the warnings are time- limited. If there has been no cause for concern over the previous three years, candidates can get a green light.
This may explain why the late comedian Ken Dodd was finally knighted last year even though he was prosecuted for tax evasion in 1989. He was acquitted and made taunting jokes about the taxman for the rest of his career.
HMRC will also give a green light to candidates despite “use of personal service companies”, a controversial practice employed by the BBC to pay some of its highest-earning presenters, which can result in the exchequer losing significant income. Activity that the taxman judges to be “acceptable tax planning” is also waved through.
Those personal service companies fall under Ritchie’s definition of avoidance which is to be condemned. But his own use of such – you know, his own use of that method he so condemns – won’tr block an honour because his definition of avoidance and that of HMRC are different. Neatly explaining the difference in their tax gap estimates.
Also, it was more than 3 years ago for a limited company.
So, vermine is safe!