1. What’s the difference between tax avoidance and tax evasion?
Tax evasion is the illegal reduction of tax liabilities through fraud.
Tax avoidance is the legal reduction of tax liabilities through fraud, which is illegal.
2. Who pays corporation tax? The corporation, its owners, or the people who buy its products or services?
I think you mean “whom pays corporation tax”.
The honest answer is we think it’s the nannies of wealthy Observer readers who have been told to operate through a personal service company or face the sack.
3. What is the problem (in 50 words) with the current tax model?
I can tell you in five. We need a State of Courage.
4. If most tax avoidance is because taxpayers exploit loopholes, why do governments create those loopholes?
Only Conservative neoliberal create loopholes. This is to ingratiate themselves with big businesses who then make donations to the Tories out of all the money they make simply by avoiding tax.
5. Can we ever get rid of tax avoidance? If not, why not?
Yes. We can abolish all classes of property except that which belongs to The State. The second part of your question is not applicable.
6. What is the estimated annual cost of tax avoidance lost to individuals? And to corporations?
I have calculated that individuals avoid tax equivalent to £159,127,594,769,394. Corporations are much worse and cost the UK £789,348,833,238,484.
This is through perfectly legal loopholes created by the Coalition which means that most individuals and corporations aren’t within the scope of UK tax. This is an immoral decision that these individuals have made not to be resident in the UK, or conduct financial transactions here
7. Can we crack down on corporate tax avoidance without losing things like duty-free products and ISA savings accounts? Should we be cracking down on those as well? If not, why not?
Of course we can crack down on corporate tax avoidance without losing things like that. Except it would be immoral.
Those things were intended by Parliament, in the same way that transfer pricing rules for multi-nationals were intended, in the same way that Sir Philip Green’s wife was not intended to be taxed, in the same way that Google are not meant to be taxed, in the same way that Starbucks were not meant to be taxed, in the same way that almost all of the tax avoidance stories you hear are the results of the intention of Parliament.
These things are all obviously tax avoidance and immoral. You could choose to invest in an ISA or pay tax on a normal savings account. One is immoral, the other is your legal obligation and a moral imperative.
8. Will the General Anti-Avoidance Rule (GAAR) that the government is proposing work?
No. It’s rubbish. The EU have said so. This is clearly an endorsement of my GRAPIST bill which is far better. This would instantly close the tax gap.
9. If not, what would?
I’ve just told you. Don’t ask me stupid questions.
10. How would we ensure that any new regulations would be followed by all and not manipulated by clever accountants and lawyers?
We can neuter all accountants and lawyers. Their legacy of hate will die with them.