Almost half of UK tax law targets avoidance

Almost half of UK tax law targets avoidance

Tax Justice Network says aggressive avoidance is the reason for increasing legislation

Tax lobby group, the
Tax
Justice Network
, has pointed the finger at aggressive tax
avoidance for the increasing load of tax legislation.

In a report, the group found that 41% of all new tax legislation was targeted
at blocking tax avoidance. The report looked at the purpose for enacting every
section and schedule of all 1503 pages of tax legislation in the
Finance
Acts
passed in the period 2004 to 2006.

It found that just 48 pages dealt with routine issues like tax rates, 841
were the result of government-driven initiatives and 614 were anti-avoidance
measures.

Richard
Lupson-Darnell
, who conducted the research, said: ‘The tax
avoidance industry and tax advisers in general are constantly complaining about
the volume of legislation they have to contend with. However, this research
shows that they and their clients have to take a lot of the responsibility
themselves.’

Lupson-Darbnell said companies could ‘continue camping over the boundary’ of
what the government considered acceptable, or ‘retreat to more compliant
pastures and see the volume fall’.

Further reading:

Read HMRC’s tax
avoidance disclosure rules

Multinationals shy away from risky tax planning

Government lands early blow to leasing avoidance scheme

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