It's hard to beat the sheer stupidity of this advert spotted at Liverpool Street Station. Issued by fund managers Fidelity International it reads "Tax Avoidance. As approved by the Taxman."
This is a reference to ISAs (Individual Savings Accounts), the income of which is tax exempt, i.e. the British government charges no tax on the income as a means of encouraging savings. If no tax is due, there can be no tax avoidance (by definition). Does this ad reflect a lack of tax knowledge on the part of Fidelity? Or is this a pathetic attempt to convince the public that when it comes to tax avoidance we're all in it together.
Either way, Fidelity comes out looking rather foolish - as did Conservative MP John Redwood who made an ill-informed remark
along similar lines in Parliament last year.
Perhaps they should write out "You cannot avoid tax on a tax exempt savings account"
one hundred times.