Monday, November 21, 2011

Making aggressive tax avoidance illegal - what a new GAAR might do

From Tax Research, on a proposed General Anti-Avoidance Rule for the UK to target tax avoidance. As Tax Research also says:
"This suggested rule says very clearly that things that may be legal can also be morally unacceptable and the chance to prevent a person availing themselves of that abuse should exist. That is an enormous step forward in UK tax law if it comes to be enacted and I welcome it. So should all wise companies and tax professionals, not least because this means no one is now obliged, even in their wilder moments, to mention these egregious schemes any more: they can simply say they are sure they will fail and as such can recommend clients to ignore them.

Companies can also do so with a clear conscience, knowing the chance of failure in using such schemes has now increased, a lot. Anyone who does not welcome this is simply saying they think abuse of the law is desirable."
This is an important step forwards. See also this article on a General Anti-Avoidance Principle (Gantip, which is obviously similar but slightly different because it refers to a principle rather than a rule.)


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