Approach to avoidance shows ‘radical Budget’

A prominent professor of tax law has labelled Chancellor Alistair Darling’s
Budget as ‘truly radical’, largely because of the approach taken in tackling tax
avoidance and evasion.

In a comment piece published on,
Anne Redston, professor in tax law at King’s College, London, said the
Chancellor of the Exchequer routinely ‘blocks loopholes and castigates those who
undertake structured, artificial avoidance. He has done the same this year.’

She said tax reforms outlined by Darling in Wednesday’s Budget will also
change the ‘rules of engagement between government and those who fail to pay

The controversial ‘naming and shaming’ policy – whereby the identities of
taxpayers who have deliberately underpaid significant amounts of tax will be
made public, and the possibility of monitoring and fining tax advisors were
cited by Redston as radical new approaches.

‘These approaches are only viable because of widespread UK support for a more
rigorous regime. If taxpayers regarded avoidance and evasion as a national
sport, naming and shaming would fail: being on the HMRC list would be an
accolade, like having an Asbo on a run-down housing estate.

‘These new approaches are possible because people generally pay their taxes,
and resent those who do not,’ she said.

Further Reading:

09: tax advisers fear new fines

09: ‘name and shame’ initiative may violate human rights

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