Since the days when houses had bricked-up window spaces (ready to be glazed at a later date) to avoid payment of the Window Tax introduced in 1696 or to a time when being clean-shaven would be the obvious means to avoid the Beard Tax (from 1535) - tax avoidance is the perfectly legal, but arguably immoral utilization of a tax regime to one's own advantage. That is to reduce the amount of tax payable by means that are within the law – which is why we have accountants after all! It’s been going on for years - and if people were prepared to live in the dark to avoid a tax burden which they viewed as daylight robbery – why the furore now in 2012?
PM David Cameron’s recent attack on comedian (really?) Jimmy Carr on the way he manages his tax affairs is not without irony – given the fall-out from the MP’s expenses fiasco – where there was seen to be all sorts of dodgy goings-on – some of which resulted in our seemingly unassailable parliamentary representatives receiving custodial sentences; guilty of tax evasion amongst other things.
Though the Prime Minister attacked Jimmy Carr for investing in a legitimate tax avoidance scheme, businessman George Robinson and Don’t Take That frontman Gary Barlow, both Tory donors, are also said to have been involved in similar schemes and neither has come in for a similar rebuke from the Prime Minister. Remember this is a man that is not averse to leaving his 8 year-old progeny to fend for herself in a public house (Social Services a-beckoning?) and handed over £650m of our money to fund Pakistani schools – whilst removing the budget of the school refurbishment programme in the UK. This was a gift to heal the diplomatic row caused by his comments concerning Pakistan's handling of the terrorist threat.
Jimmy Carr has announced his withdrawal from his particular legitimate tax avoidance scheme and may no longer be laughing all the way to the bank – which is just as well as it’s a steady step to the Channel Islands! Surely he can’t be about to abandon his moral turpitude for the sake of the UK Exchequer?
Who on Earth likes paying tax, anyway?
Q: Could it be magic, Gary?
A: No mate, it’s an offshore bank account!
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