It has taken well over a day for me to turn my mind to the horrific events of Wednesday 20 March 2013.
As I watched the Chancellor deliver his speech in the House of Commons I sat there trembling with anxiety – and I sensed an infinite scream passing through the economy.
The horror this Budget has filed me with is like any other I have known.
The GAAR is projected to raise insignificant proportions of the tax gap.
I note that some independent and objective sources who estimated the tax gap at £120bn have let slip that this now stands at £95bn.
That would suggest that the tax gap has been reduced by 20% over the past few years. Or that they are simply making numbers up.
I have been distracted by rumor and gossip, I must admit.
The GAAR interim panel is a waste of my time. It won’t raise any money by the Treasury’s own admission so it is a failure by its own standards.
The idea of the GAAR is that dim-witted accountants and tax professionals will have taken no account of the change in tax legislation, hence they will continue to behave as before and the panel of the GAAR will stop them.
Instead, the estimates suggest that this group of professional neoliberals will be aware of this development and alter their behaviour.
Are the Treasury serious? Do they think that the accountancy and tax professions are aware as I am about the existence of this rule? Utter nonsense.
But I can’t really talk about the GAAR, being on the panel as I am. It would represent some sort of ethical impropriety and I am nothing but morally correct.
The rest of the anti-avoidance stuff was crap too! If they enacted my GRAPIST we wouldn’t need any further tax legislation because the GRAPIST would allow HMRC to arbitrarily decide what was avoidance and force the taxpayer to prove otherwise.
This would benefit smaller businesses who are renowned for their eagerness to foot large legal bills for small amounts of tax. Whereas large businesses tend to cave in at the first suggestion of problems with the authorities fearing tax advisers and lawyers, as they do.
The GRAPIST would provide such certainty that HMRC could amend any aspect of any person’s tax affairs at will that we would never need any form of anti avoidance legislation ever again.
The GAAR won’t do that. What was I thinking, agreeing to be on the panel? Now I must remain silent over how stupid and rubbish it is.
And there was other stuff too, which I might blog on later. But I try to carefully consider each post so that I produce a quality factually precise analysis.
Rather than copious numbers of spurious opinions which are monotonous yet inconsistent.