Yes, I told Observer readers how to avoid tax , but it was completely legal!

Some of you may have already seen an old contribution of mine from the Observer:

Make sure your chauffeur won't land you in jailThis is not the first time I have been accused of rank hypocrisy and I have answered this particular accusation many many times before. Normally tucked away in a single sentence in the comments section of a post that is a week or two old.

Yet, I will give my answers to this one more time for those people who have not read the entire contents of my blog and every one of my books. In future you should buy my books to check everything I have said before accusing me of hypocrisy. I am certain you will find it is all completely consistent.

I was deliberately promoting a tax avoidance scheme I had heard of in order to get it closed down. As a matter of fact, the use of personal service companies was completely stamped out two days after my article was published and nobody has since thought of incorporating their business or disguising their employment using such a mechanism.

I maintain this wasn’t immoral anyway. This is proved by the fact that many individuals have continued to use such arrangements, including Ken Livingstone, Jeremy Paxman and Ed Lester. And nobody has cast any aspersions against them.

So, no, I am not ashamed of writing this article in the Observer telling people how to legally mitigate their tax liabilities on their payments to their chauffeurs.


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