I suggested that the debate is moving to consider whether those who do the deliberate and severe bending of the tax rules are just as much 'tax cheats' as those who consciously evade taxes and break the rules.
It comes as a great delight to note that the editor of Taxation magazine has just published a hard hitting editorial that further evidences the way this debate is moving. Mike Truman makes his view very clear that:
"It’s time to stop defending artificial pre-packaged avoidance schemes".Regular readers of the TaxBuzz blog will know I am no fan of what Mike also calls "aggressive packaged schemes". And I have long disputed the view, put forward by some advisers, that accountants are at risk of negligence claims if they fail to make their clients aware of such schemes. It simply is not necessary to do this in my view.
Expect to see more debate on this subject and a draft General Anti-Avoidance Rule emerging in the not too distant future. It's inevitable in my view. Such a rule is easier to draft in theory than it will be to finalise and to apply in practice without introducing significant uncertainties in all fields of tax planning advice. I only hope that the Government consults effectively on this rather than rushing ahead with inadequately defined legislation as has occurred too often in the past.
Earlier relevant posts:
- Bending vs breaking tax rules
- Tax avoidance is a card game - the metaphors multiply
- Tax avoidance - what are you allowed to do? A simple guide.
- Tax avoidance schemes - a simple guide
- Naive promoters of tax avoidance schemes
- Five facts all accountants need to know about tax avoidance schemes
- Five more facts all accountants need to understand about tax avoidance schemes