THE TUC's SPOOF GUIDE to tax dodging is no more than inflammatory, ill-informed, misleading sabre-rattling ahead of the annual TUC Annual Congress. The call for loop-holes to be shut down and the perennial targets – non-domiciles – is tiresome and old-hat.
HM Revenue and Customs and the government have taken extensive steps in recent times to address the perceived anomalies in law afforded to non-domiciles. The effect of this has been to render the United Kingdom less attractive to wealthy foreigners, entrepreneurs and job creators. Attracting such individuals is something that many countries around the world consider beneficial.
The global tax market is very competitive: look at Spain, the Netherlands, Canada, Ireland, Switzerland – they all have inpatriate tax regimes of one sort or another. The UK would do well to keep the non-domicile rules as they are, albeit watered down and less beneficial as they once were but nonetheless extremely complex and subject to an annual levy.
As regards loop-holes, perhaps the TUC is not aware of DOTAS or the very wide-ranging and complex body of anti-avoidance provisions that make up the statute book. Perhaps it isn't aware of the General Anti-Avoidance Rule that is set to be introduced or the fact that HMRC have won various high-profile tax cases in recent times.
If the TUC wants to be taken seriously, it should specify which of the loop-holes it is referring to with recommendations of how it believes the tax system should be amended.
The UK's tax system is based on common law, i.e. statute and case law live hand in hand and evolve over time. Every person has a right to structure their affairs in the most tax-efficient way possible. According to the TUC, this should be thrown out of the window and we should all pay as much as possible.
In times of austerity, it is easy to pick tax out as being the solution to our financial woes, that the rich must pay more to kickstart the economy and get us out the mess we're in. This isn't the case and the sooner the TUC, Nick Clegg and the government realise this, the better.
Miles Dean is founder of Milestone International Tax Partners
That the founder of a company that appears to specialise in making money from tax avoidance is anti-anti-tax avoidance!
Posted by: Andy, 06 Sep 2012 | 18:40
Perhaps this is in your blindspot:-
Perhaps we should move on and take a a closer look at Spain.....
Posted by: Theremustbeanotherway, 07 Sep 2012 | 01:18
As no expert at all in the field of taxation it is of great interest how these issues are becoming more and more visible to the general public. As such the TUC’s guide and this reposte are very informative to the common man not only for the initial arguments but also very much for the evidence that supports those arguments. And it is clear that while the TUC have evidence which shows how inequality and lower productivity is derived from non-dom rules this reposte has nothing in the way of evidence which supports those same rules. Forgive me if I have missed the point, but simply saying we should conduct our tax business like Spain (50% youth unemployment), Ireland (ECB 150 billion bailout) and Switzerland (tax haven) or that all non-doms are wealth creators provides no actual evidence at all. In fact the constant drone of claiming wealthy non-doms being wealth creators is becoming tiresome and old hat. The authors description of the tax system being based in common law seems accurate – every person has a right to structure their affairs correctly, but common law also has provision against cheating and there is no defence from the author regarding the fact that tax evasion is the deliberate attempt by individuals and companies, aided by the likes of the author, to cheat the law as defined by a democratically elected parliament. No one is asking the ‘rich’ to pay more. Everyone expects the rules to be applied to all fairly. If that were to be the case, as the TUC rightly points out, the need for socially divisive and destructive austerity would not be needed to the same degree.
Posted by: Paul Cooke, 07 Sep 2012 | 10:38
You may also like
If budgeting is to have any value at all, it needs a radical overhaul. In today's dynamic marketplace, budgeting can no longer serve as a company's only management system; it must integrate with and support dedicated strategy management systems, process improvement systems, and the like. In this paper, Professor Peter Horvath and Dr Ralf Sauter present what's wrong with the current approach to budgeting and how to fix it.
In this white paper CCH provide checklists to help accountants and finance professionals both in practice and in business examine these issues and make plans. Also includes a case study of a large commercial organisation working through the first year of mandatory iXBRL filing.