The other day I dusted off my self-penned book of definitions entitled Richards’ English Dictionary of Concise Usage and Nomenclature for Taxation.
In it, I found the definition of tax avoidance that has been universally adopted by all:
“Tax avoidance: noun; the reduction of tax liabilities through legal means”
This definition is as true today as it was then. However, I realised immediately that this was my First Edition. I pulled down the larger tome immediately adjacent to (that means ‘next to’ for you non tax experts) the empty space vacated by the copy I had in my hands.
“Tax avoidance: noun, verb; the immoral reduction of tax liabilities through legal means. It is immoral and illegal.”
This definition is far better in my opinion, though it is yet to be adopted by accountants, tax advisers, lawyers, law makers, courts, the media and the public at large.
It is a fact that tax avoidance is legal. Therefore it is not, in itself illegal. However, it is immoral and therefore it is illegal on account of the Property Rights Act (Taxation) 1984.
That act states that “your property is inherently the property of The State, unless it is otherwise proven that it is not the property of The State on account of a criminal act of bring assumed to be immoral by any non-mental lady or gentleman being resident nowhere else but the UK and that said immoral behaviour is conducted with intent, be it sole, partial or negligible, to deprive of something The State would like to take ownership of at any given time or location.”
Of course, this piece of statute was tested in the landmark case of Richards v Thatcher (1985) and found to be “not actually a law recognised by this, or any other, court in the world ever” by Alan Jones, high court clerk.
I was denied my right to appeal.
However, its moral and legal force holds true to this day. It is not legal to avoid tax, which is why I have had to prepare a proposal to fund capacity for one million additional prisoners on account of my GRAPIST.
My estimate of the tax gap shows that half of all businesses commit tax avoidance and therefore commit a crime.
Tax evasion distinguishes itself from tax avoidance by being fraudulent in nature. However, tax avoidance that involves fraud is still only tax avoidance on account of tax avoidance being more immoral on account of it being legal.
Therefore, tax avoidance is illegal in a way that tax evasion is not: it is conducted in a fraudulent manner.
That is obvious to anybody who reads the law, even non tax experts like you.
With this in mind, I have persuaded UKuncut to inundate HMRC’s evasion hotline (a misnomer, they mean moral repugnance hotline) with calls about Starbucks, Google, Amazon and Microsoft and whatever thing they’ve red in the newspaper that day.
This also highlights the need for HMRC to be funded properly in order to service their telephone lines. I was informed that I was the hundredth person to phone regarding Vodafone yesterday, which explains why it took half an hour for them to answer.
If you don’t agree with the definition, it’s probably because you yourself have tax avoidanced.
Maybe you should turn yourself in at your nearest HMRC office. That’ll at least help HMRC with their resourcing issue.