"Today I am highlighting recent action, domestically and internationally, that changes the game for those who bend the rules on tax, and for those who break them...."
".... I want it to become increasingly clear to taxpayers and tax agents that for tax cheats, the game is up."Surely though, "tax cheats" are only those who break the law? Maybe not.
I'm no fan of those who deliberately exploit the law in an effort to reduce or avoid tax liabilities even if they just about manage to avoid(!) breaking the law. To me, and evidently to Mr Timms too, such people are seeking to cheat the system, cheat HMRC and cheat fellow taxpayers. Yes, we can call them all 'tax cheats'.
In concluding his speech Mr Timms added:
"We are today in a different world for tax....."
"We will continue to help the vast majority who want to live up to their responsibilities. But those who try and cheat will find themselves increasingly isolated: by their peers; by Governments; by the international community – as the G20, and, in Britain, our pre-budget report, will show"
"The changed strategic context should be clear. Tax cheats need to think again."
For completeness I have extended below the final observation from my post Bending vs breaking tax rules:
Some people take great delight in deliberately bending the rules whilst seeking to avoid a total fracture. Observers may consider the bending to be so severe that a fracture seems almost inevitable. In such cases it seems only reasonable to me that HMRC should be expected to challenge what has been done, how much force was applied and to apply x-rays to determine the possible damage. Only then will they know if the law was broken or not. And of course sometimes the rules are bent so far that it takes the Courts' further and deeper x-ray to determine whether or not the rule has been fractured and in effect broken.The debate is moving to consider whether those who do the deliberate and severe bending are just as much 'tax cheats' as those who consciously evade taxes and break the rules. In this connection I gather that there will be some surprises in the Pre-Budget Report along these lines.