New BBC poll: 84% against Tax Avoidance


by Sunny Hundal    
12:22 pm - June 9th 2011

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A poll out today by Comres for the BBC finds an overwhelming majority of people against tax avoidance by businesses.

Comres stated: “The Government should crack down on tax avoidance by businesses operating in the UK.”
Agree: 84%
Disagree: 12%
Don’t know: 3%

The poll also stated:
“The Government should crack down on tax avoidance by businesses, even if it causes unemployment, or some companies to leave the UK.”
Agree: 60%
Disagree: 34%
Don’t know: 6%

Update: To clarify a point that some of our right-wing trolls may have missed out: the polling question above first explains what tax avoidance is and then asks the questions above. So people are aware of what it is, and yet are still against it.

The poll found men more likely to agree with this statement than women, and older people more likely to agree than younger groups.

The tables of the results are here.

The poll comes as Green party leader Caroline Lucas seeks to get traction for a new bill to crack down on tax avoidance by businesses.

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About the author
Sunny Hundal is editor of LC. Also: on Twitter, at Pickled Politics and Guardian CIF.
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Reader comments


I wonder if people were asked to explain the difference between avoidance and evasion before they could vote.

And assuming that they are aware of the difference – are they aware of the likely consequences that may flow from tackling tax avoidance? I would have thought that if they had this understanding they’d understand it is a very tricky problem without widespread international cooperation (which is unlikely).

By the way Sunny, why do you only show two questions when in fact there were three?

Is it because the other one doesn’t give the correct result?

Most people think that companies should reduce their tax liability if they are able to do so. Contradicts the other results but “there’s nowt so queer as folk”.

Our government spends our tax money on weapons of mas destruction, wars for commercial profit, subsidies for arms deals, subsidies for damaging developing country dam projects, a police force that attacks peaceful protesters, PFI deals that sell out the next generation and a whole array of different ways of making so tax payer money ends up in the hands of the powerful and rich beyond reason. Who on earth would want to pay tax to such a dubious load of crony serving crooks. The real complaint is that the crooked beneficiaries of tax spending on all the things we don’t want our money spent on are the same bunch of crooks who have manipulated the rules so that they can avoid paying tax while the rest of us can’t.

5. Sean Fear

Most people think that companies should reduce their tax liability if they are able to do so. Contradicts the other results but “there’s nowt so queer as folk”.

People often come up with seemingly contradictory responses in polls, I expect that in response to the first two questions, they are condemning activity which they consider unlawful; in response to the third they are not condemning activity which they consider lawful.

It’s hardly surprising. Most people are against cruelty to animals too. What are we supposed to draw from this survey? The idea that most people are with the UKuncut and students movements?

7. Chaise Guevara

I suspect another issue with this survey is that “tax avoidance” is poorly defined, and people may be thinking of something different when they answer…

Do you think major corporations should be prevented from exploiting tax loopholes? YES!

Do you think your ISA should be banned? NO!

It’s all about how you phrase it. Although I think closing tax loopholes for companies should be a fairly easy thing to sell to the public.

I wonder if people were asked to explain the difference between avoidance and evasion before they could vote.

Truly shocked that right-wingers explain away polls they don’t like by calling voters stupid. Not.

Sunny, I’m impressed that you know my political leaning based on my one-line post.

Do you have an explanation for only showing the two results and avoiding (or evading ) the third.

10. Chaise Guevara

@ 8 Sunny

It’s a fair point that the difference between evasion and avoidance is a technical one that most people probably don’t get. I freely confess that I didn’t know the difference a few years ago.

Accusing people who raise that issue of being insulting doesn’t actually address their argument. The fact that you consider something insulting does not automatically make it factually incorrect.

Actually Sunny I joined the LP in the seventies, and I’m a member in 2011 so you can stick your right wing jibe wherever you put the third poll question.

Quit the AH attack and answer two questions:

1) Do you believe the average person knows the difference between avoid and evade.

2) Why did you only quote two questions, there weren’t 50 questions, there were three.

7. An ISA is NOT anexample of tax avoidance. Government has specifically designed ISAs to be used by people for a purpose.

Opening HQs in Iireland, Netherlands and Cayman and charging various “management fees” to suck profit out of an entity doing bog standard trading in the UK however *is* the kind of avoidance that is an unintended consequence of legislation.

In other words: taking the p1ss. The sort of thing which should be eliminated.

13. flyingrodent

It’s a fair point that the difference between evasion and avoidance is a technical one that most people probably don’t get.

No doubt. Is either option available in any significant way to the man in the street, or is tax-dodging solely the preserve of the very wealthy? I ask because I certainly can’t think how I might probe around the edges of the law to avoid stumping up my dues to the Treasury or the Council. I have to pay up my share whether I like it or not, and I imagine almost everyone else on this thread is the same.

I do like the instant resort to quibbles over evasion vs. avoidance. What if the majority of UK citizens committed a sizeable chunk of their time and energy to finding new and innovative methods for scamming their way around the law, for personal benefit?

I imagine that there are plenty of loopholes that would allow us to get away without the full punishment for everything from theft to murder, if we could all afford lawyers good enough to find them for us.

Of course, scamming the law of the land for personal gain might be characterised as an anti-social activity but then, it’s funny how many activities suddenly become less respectable when the rabble start joining in the fun. Pretty much all drugs were legal until the plebs started joining in, by way of example.

14. Chaise Guevara

@ 12 BenM

“An ISA is NOT anexample of tax avoidance. Government has specifically designed ISAs to be used by people for a purpose. ”

I’m aware of that, but that doesn’t mean it couldn’t be called tax avoidance. The concept of tax avoidance isn’t legally defined, so you could totally get away with saying an ISA allowed tax avoidance because it lets you avoid tax.

I’m not saying we SHOULD consider using an ISA to be tax avoidance, I’m just making the obvious point that the definition of the term is vague, so even if we know that 84% of people want the government to crack down on it, we don’t know what they actually want the government to crack down ON.

ISA’s ARE most definately tax avoidance. They are designed as such, by the government with the aim that people are incentivised to save by avoiding tax.

It’s a very specific example, but avoidance is just specific terminology for legally minimising your tax bill.

Bless him, Richard Murphy structured his company’s earnings to minimise the amount of tax he pays. The Guardian also has tax structures in place. Nothing illegal, but a little hypocritical don’t you think?

Actually Sunny I joined the LP in the seventies, and I’m a member in 2011 so you can stick your right wing jibe wherever you put the third poll question.

Being left-wing and being Labourite aren’t mutually exclusive. Next stupid question?

No doubt. Is either option available in any significant way to the man in the street, or is tax-dodging solely the preserve of the very wealthy? I ask because I certainly can’t think how I might probe around the edges of the law to avoid stumping up my dues to the Treasury or the Council.

Depends on your definitions doesn’t it? There is no English legal concept of tax avoidance as yet so you can take your choice.

The average man on the street could be avoiding taxes by paying into a pension, or getting a deduction for business expenses. On one reading he could be avoiding taxes by buying concentrate orange juice rather than fresh, or by buying paper books rather than kindle books.

It’s a confusing subject, and people mostly don’t understand it, as with most financial matters.

Being left-wing and being Labourite aren’t mutually exclusive Next stupid question?

Eh?
You might want to re-read what you write before you post it

You persist with the personal attacks and avoid the points being made. It just makes you look dumb.

And, as you ask, the next stupid question is:

Why did you only quote two questions, there weren’t 50 questions, there were three.

Why did you only quote two questions, there weren’t 50 questions, there were three.

Because the third question contradicts the first two, and strongly implies that the people answering don’t understand the concept properly. It undermines the findings, in other words.

20. Luis Enrique

FR I heartily agree but

1. damn those plebs (shakes drug-free fist)
2. you need to hang out with some more self-employed people if you think tax ahem efficiency cough is the preserve of the wealthy. scoundrels to a man.

21. Sam Bridges

I note that Sunny has been asked 4 times in the first 20 posts why he hasn’t mentioned the third poll question which gives the “wrong answer”, and he still hasn’t replied.

22. Chaise Guevara

@ 21

“I note that Sunny has been asked 4 times in the first 20 posts why he hasn’t mentioned the third poll question which gives the “wrong answer”, and he still hasn’t replied.”

Yeah, that is starting to look a little evasive.

A (growing) number of tweets (see below) on this subject now say:

“solidarity Vast majority of UK public support aims of @ukuncut, BBC poll finds”

And we accuse politicians of lying….

24. Mr S. Pill

I don’t know anyone earning under £30K who can “avoid” tax, at all. The “oh it’s legal so it’s alright” line trotted out by Tories is basically a straw man and misses the point that people are genuinally angry that the people who caused the financial mess & their like-minded kin in the business class can freely get away with avoiding paying their fair share when everyone else is being asked to tighten their belts etc.

What this survey shows is a reflection of that anger. If the government doesn’t act the reflection of anger won’t merely be in polls and surveys, it’ll be taken to the streets.

To answer the question earlier, tax avoidance is available to most self-employed people. Every window cleaner who forms a ‘partnership’ with his or her spouse/partner to get both allowances and he/she does the books etc is a good example. People who form a small limited company, paying themselves £500 or so a month to cover NI contributions and get the allowance under PAYE then taking the rest in drawings at a lower tax rate is another one.

These are ordinary people using perfectly legal means to avoid paying more tax than they need to.

Oh, and I think Caroline Lucas’ bill is about tax evasion, not tax avoidance.

Who isn’t against it. Its about time these crooks paid their fair share. Maybe then the country wouldn’t be bankrupt.

28. Mr S. Pill

@25

If you think that is in any way comparable to multi-million £ businesses avoiding millions of £s in taxes I think you’re way overdue a reality check.

@28. The point is that people said only the rich use tax avoidance. But that isn’t true. The amounts may differ, but the principle is the same. Using legal means to pay the minimum amount of tax. And rightly so.

and strongly implies that the people answering don’t understand the concept properly.

sl, Tim J – you guys really take the biscuit in trolling and spreading rubbish.

Look at the damn tables I’ve linked.

The question first explains what tax avoidance is (including that its legal) and then asks them whether companies should pay full tax or not.

I didn’t include all the questions because they weren’t the focus of this article. I rarely include all the questions from all polls we use.

But coming here and trying to pretend that the public are thick and don’t understand the questions, and that is the only reason they want a crackdown on tax avoidance – even when its explained to them – just makes YOU look like a prat.

Next time, why not join Paul Staines when he tries to ambush some aid event instead of trolling this site and then whining I’m being too nasty to you when you can’t even read.

@sunny

“The question first explains what tax avoidance is (including that its legal) and then asks them whether companies should pay full tax or not.”

Sunny – this is a nonsense question though. Someone who is paying all the tax they are legally liable to pay is paying full tax.

Sunny – this is a nonsense question though. Someone who is paying all the tax they are legally liable to pay is paying full tax.

No. I don’t have the legal ability to avoid all my tax while big companies do. This isn’t just about the law, its about what people see as ‘fair’. Guess what. they don’t. Live with it.

33. Luis enrique

That question covers everything from setting up off shores to avoid cap gains tax to choosing to locate in an enterprise zone to enjoy tax break, or doing your R&D where there are R&D subsidies. It bundles together loop hole exploiting lawyer devized ruses with the equivalent of using an ISA, which comes under arranging your affairs to minimise tax, as intended by the govt. It makes no distinction between fair and bad tax minimisation. So taking the question literally does raise some probs. But easy to conclude there is a very strong perception companies are exploiting letter of law to get out of taxes we want them to pay, as opposed to ISA analogs, and people want the govt to stamp on it. And that’s right isn’t it?

Sunny

Nobody does what is “fair”. People do what is legal. It is utterly hypocritical of people to expect corporations to do more than the law requires when people will happily live with grey areas in their own lives not always placing the subjective idea of ‘common good; above their own interests.

Changing how much tax corporations are required to pay will need legislative change – this isn’t enforcing existing laws as tax evasion would be – and that requires considerable change. If this is so important why wasn’t that done during the last 13 years?

@sunny

Oh this phoney indignation is precious.

You spin a story, that is, lie by omission and then, when challenged, simply attack the people that point it out.

You can rant all you want, call people names, but it’s obvious to all who read this thread what happened. Funnily enough you both evaded and avoided answering questions and only responded when your silence was questioned on another thread.

As to your “explanation”, I taught my kids that lying about something they had done wrong was worse than the original act.

36. Chaise Guevara

Sunny uses insults instead of arguments then accuses other people of trolling. Heh heh.

But coming here and trying to pretend that the public are thick and don’t understand the questions, and that is the only reason they want a crackdown on tax avoidance – even when its explained to them – just makes YOU look like a prat.

Hate to say it Sunny, but the public honestly don’t understand most tax/financial matters. I mean, you’re a political hack, and you get avoidance and evasion confused all the time. You’ve also confused debt and deficit, and thought that a monthly figure for the UK deficit was an annual figure. And you’re presumably in the top half of the population.
http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/neilobrien1/100090944/only-one-in-seven-people-in-britain-even-understands-our-debt-disaster-no-wonder-were-sticking-our-heads-in-the-sand/

Sunny,
1) The poll DOES contain 3 questions. Why do you only consider the 2 that deliver the answers you want and ignore the 3rd which delivers a result that you clearly didn’t want?
2) The questions do explain tax avoidance and do mention that it remains within the law. Given that it’s within the law it really doesn’t matter at all what percentage of people like it and what percentage doesn’t.
3) The argument that tax avoidance is bad because big companies can afford experts who do it for them and you can’t is totally invalid. It essentially reduces to: only rich people can affort Porsches and I can’t so we should have a law outlawing their sale.
4) Why do you label everyone who disagrees with you a “right-wing troll’”? Does it make you feel better?

39. Robin Levett

@Sunny:

Don’t you find this finding from Comres’s report (the poll won’t download for me) on the results very illuminating:

“The public is split as follows:
• 7% of people always think tax avoidance is ok (i.e. disagree with s1 and agree with s3)
• 29% of people never think tax avoidance is ok (i.e. agree with s2 and disagree with s3)
• 64% of people give inconsistent answers – sometimes saying it is ok and sometimes saying it is not.”

http://www.comres.co.uk/bbcradio4decisiontimejun11.aspx

Let me repeat that “64% of people give inconsistent answers”. 64%. Who can’t decide whether they’re for or agin tax avoidance.

What *is* demonstrated by this poll is that UKUncut has succeeded in its aim of demonising certain corporations without reference to whether the claims made against them are true – an aim you have, IIRC, explictly endorsed. In the general case, people are full of the righteous fervour created by UKUncut. In the specific, however – when the duties of companies are put to them and they actually have to think about the position – they are much more ambivalent.

I’d add one more thing – I’d guess that probably two-thirds of the 84% responding “yes” to question 1 would think nothing of asking a plumber “Would it be cheaper for cash?”

@ chaise guevara

An ISA is tax exempt and therefore – by definition – you cannot avoid tax on it. Think about this point for just a few seconds and you might start to understand why your comparison between ISAs (granted tax exemption by parliamentary will) and corporates exploiting loopholes to dodge tax is plain misleading.

best wishes

John

41. gruffbilly

STOP PRESS * Blair and Brown had a tiff.!

That’s the real news that matters to the BBC

42. Chaise Guevara

@ John Christensen

“An ISA is tax exempt and therefore – by definition – you cannot avoid tax on it. Think about this point for just a few seconds and you might start to understand why your comparison between ISAs (granted tax exemption by parliamentary will) and corporates exploiting loopholes to dodge tax is plain misleading.”

You’re misreading me. I’m not trying to claim they’re equivalent, because they’re not. I’m simply pointing out how broadly one could define “tax avoidance”. An ISA could count in a broad definition of the term.

Your logic in the first sentence quoted above is backwards. An ISA is tax-exempt, and therefore by storing money in one you can avoid the tax you would pay if you used a normal savings account. Avoiding tax = tax avoidance. That is, in theory at least, the main attraction of an ISA (in reality they tend to get higher-than-average gross rates because banks know people are loath to withdraw ISA funds).

I used to open ISA accounts for a bank. A lot of the people who called up specifically said they were trying to avoid tax, they had a kind of “tax is evil” attitude and even if they could get the same net rate from another non-ISA account, they preferred to see the bank profit than give money to the state.

I suspect that you want to claim an ISA doesn’t avoid tax because you see “tax avoidance” as a bad thing. So do I to an extent, though I’m not condemning people for using an ISA and would get one myself if I had any money to put it. But it’s unreasonable to pretend an ISA doesn’t do the very thing it’s designed to do just because you don’t like the connotations.

*This isn’t just about the law, its about what people see as ‘fair’*

I would be very very afraid to live in any country that had someone like you in charge.

So what is the definition of “tax avoidance”?

Is tax avoidance legal?
If yes, I hope we don’t give a damn what 84 % think. We are not ruled by a vague set of morals, but by laws.

46. Chaise Guevara

@ 45 Andreas Moser

“Is tax avoidance legal?

If yes, I hope we don’t give a damn what 84 % think. We are not ruled by a vague set of morals, but by laws.”

Sorry to state the bleeding obvious, but the whole point of this post is obviously to get tax avoidance (or some kinds of tax avoidance) made illegal. And one way to do that is to point out that most people want it banned. What the vast majority of people think is actually quite important in a democracy, we have these “election” things.

Yeesh.

Sorry to state the bleeding obvious, but the whole point of this post is obviously to get tax avoidance (or some kinds of tax avoidance) made illegal. And one way to do that is to point out that most people want it banned.

In my capacity as resident snooty elitist, I hope that the views of vox populi aren’t taken too seriously when it comes to drafting tax legislation.

Sorry to state the bleeding obvious, but the whole point of this post is obviously to get tax avoidance (or some kinds of tax avoidance) made illegal. And one way to do that is to point out that most people want it banned.

In my capacity as resident snooty elitist, I hope that the views of vox populi aren’t taken too seriously when it comes to drafting tax legislation.

Millions of flies can’t be wrong!

49. Chaise Guevara

@ Tim J

“In my capacity as resident snooty elitist, I hope that the views of vox populi aren’t taken too seriously when it comes to drafting tax legislation.”

I’m not arguing with the fact that democracy puts power into the hands of people who may well be ignorant or short-sighted about the specific issues regarding this or that policy. It’s the least-worst system, not the way to achieve an ideal result. I’m also not saying that the 84% figure, even if accurate, is evidence in itself that tax avoidance is wrong.

My point is that friend Andreas above seems to be dismissing this post on the basis that tax avoidance is legal, which misses the point that the post is part of an effort to make it illegal. Too often someone thinks they’ve found a knock-down argument by saying “tough, it’s not illegal!”, to which the logical response is often “I know, we’re trying to ban it”.

50. Robin Levett

@Chaise Guevara #46:

“Sorry to state the bleeding obvious, but the whole point of this post is obviously to get tax avoidance (or some kinds of tax avoidance) made illegal. And one way to do that is to point out that most people want it banned. What the vast majority of people think is actually quite important in a democracy, we have these “election” things.”

And when they think that the sky is orange with green polka-dots?

How can you legislate to make tax avoidance – the practice of legally so arranging your affairs that you pay no more tax than you need to – illegal?

In fact, “most people” do not want companies to be banned from tax-avoidance, when asked a sensible question.

51. Chaise Guevara

@ 50 Robin

“And when they think that the sky is orange with green polka-dots?”

You end up with stupid policies based around false concepts?

“How can you legislate to make tax avoidance – the practice of legally so arranging your affairs that you pay no more tax than you need to – illegal?”

I would assume from the results of the survey that people either a) felt that specific currently-legal activities should be banned, which is totally valid, or b) thought that avoidance = evasion, which screws up the survey results somewhat. Arguably there’s room to ban the practice of using unintended loopholes in the system to create tax breaks that conform with the letter but not the spirit of the law – although I admit that could be difficult to enforce fairly.

“In fact, “most people” do not want companies to be banned from tax-avoidance, when asked a sensible question.”

Which one?

52. Robin Levett

@Chaise Guevara #:

Me:
“And when they think that the sky is orange with green polka-dots?”

You:
“You end up with stupid policies based around false concepts?”

Bingo.

Me:
“How can you legislate to make tax avoidance – the practice of legally so arranging your affairs that you pay no more tax than you need to – illegal?”

You:
“I would assume from the results of the survey that people either a) felt that specific currently-legal activities should be banned, which is totally valid, or b) thought that avoidance = evasion, which screws up the survey results somewhat. Arguably there’s room to ban the practice of using unintended loopholes in the system to create tax breaks that conform with the letter but not the spirit of the law – although I admit that could be difficult to enforce fairly.”

My vote, given the confusion detected by Comres, is (b).

As for (a); in the Vodafone case, it is far from clear what currently-legal activity peopekl think should be banned; since everbody is frothing about it, but UKUncut steadfastly refuses to point out that what it wants is for the UK Government to tax profits booked in Luxembourg from selling Far-Eastern goods to Germans in Germany.

I can’t see how it would be possible to draft legislation to “ban the practice of using unintended loopholes in the system to create tax-breaks”; unless you can design a detector that reliably distinguishes unintended loopholes from intended ones? We already have tax-law principles that deprive sham transactions of their tax effectiveness; so we are left with genuine transactions.

Me:
“In fact, “most people” do not want companies to be banned from tax-avoidance, when asked a sensible question.”

You:
“Which one?”

The one to which Sunny refused to quote the answer:

“If companies can reduce the amount of tax they pay then they should do so because their first duty is to maximise returns to their shareholders.”

See also:

““The public is split as follows:
• 7% of people always think tax avoidance is ok (i.e. disagree with s1 and agree with s3)
• 29% of people never think tax avoidance is ok (i.e. agree with s2 and disagree with s3)
• 64% of people give inconsistent answers – sometimes saying it is ok and sometimes saying it is not.”

see both at : http://www.comres.co.uk/bbcradio4decisiontimejun11.aspx

I would assume from the results of the survey that people either a) felt that specific currently-legal activities should be banned, which is totally valid, or b) thought that avoidance = evasion, which screws up the survey results somewhat.

I’m trending ‘b’ here. Plus it all (as ever) depends on the question. Should people/companies avoid tax? Hell no! Should people/companies pay more tax than they are legally obliged to? Hell no!

54. Chaise Guevara

@ 53 Tim J

“I’m trending ‘b’ here.”

So am I – and in any case, the data would be screwed even if most people were thinking in terms of (a) but a sizeable number were thinking in terms of (b).

“Plus it all (as ever) depends on the question. Should people/companies avoid tax? Hell no! Should people/companies pay more tax than they are legally obliged to? Hell no!”

Yep, pretty much!

55. Chaise Guevara

@ 52 Robin Levitt

“Bingo.”

Yeah, but I make no disagreement on this point. I’m not attempting an argumentum ad populum (in fact, I’m calling attention to an appeal to law).

“My vote, given the confusion detected by Comres, is (b).”

Agreed; see my answer to Tim above.

“As for (a); in the Vodafone case, it is far from clear what currently-legal activity peopekl think should be banned; since everbody is frothing about it, but UKUncut steadfastly refuses to point out that what it wants is for the UK Government to tax profits booked in Luxembourg from selling Far-Eastern goods to Germans in Germany.”

Vodafone isn’t mentioned in the OP, is it? The survey was by Comres, not UKuncut.

“I can’t see how it would be possible to draft legislation to “ban the practice of using unintended loopholes in the system to create tax-breaks”; unless you can design a detector that reliably distinguishes unintended loopholes from intended ones? We already have tax-law principles that deprive sham transactions of their tax effectiveness; so we are left with genuine transactions.”

That detector would be a judge, basically. I said it was flawed, but it’s possible. Weren’t they trying to get Brown to sanction a general anti-avoidance law not so long ago?

“The one to which Sunny refused to quote the answer: If companies can reduce the amount of tax they pay then they should do so because their first duty is to maximise returns to their shareholders.”

Ok, fair enough.

“See also:

““The public is split as follows:
• 7% of people always think tax avoidance is ok (i.e. disagree with s1 and agree with s3)
• 29% of people never think tax avoidance is ok (i.e. agree with s2 and disagree with s3)
• 64% of people give inconsistent answers – sometimes saying it is ok and sometimes saying it is not.””

The results do appear to be buggered, I agree.

56. Robin Levett

@Chaise Guevara #55:

“Vodafone isn’t mentioned in the OP, is it? The survey was by Comres, not UKuncut.”

True; but I am prepared to give UKUncut “credit” for having forced the issue onto the public stage; by obfuscating the truth when not outright lying, of course, but nevertheless…

Vodafone is UKUncut’s posterchild; but the known facts demonstrate the mendacity of their campaign.

“That detector would be a judge, basically. I said it was flawed, but it’s possible. Weren’t they trying to get Brown to sanction a general anti-avoidance law not so long ago?”

Not possible IMHO; the judge can’t simply lick his finger in the air and stick it in the air. Someone has to do the legwork of deciding which genuine and strictly legal transactions are to be declared illegal, and which remain legal, and on what grounds. An anti-avoidance law in general terms – eg “Tax avoidance is illegal” – seems to me to be impossible.

Do also bear in mind that we’ve had commentators on here claiming that it is tax-avoidance to claim back the cost of purchase of equipment used exclusively for business purposes.

Other than that, we are largely in violent agreement.

57. Robin Levett

@me #56:

Delete first “in the air”.


Reactions: Twitter, blogs
  1. Liberal Conspiracy

    New BBC poll finds 84% against Tax Avoidance http://bit.ly/ky1Znc

  2. Mabel Horrocks

    New BBC poll finds 84% against Tax Avoidance http://bit.ly/ky1Znc

  3. JT White

    New BBC poll finds 84% against Tax Avoidance http://bit.ly/ky1Znc

  4. Dave McDave

    New BBC poll finds 84% against Tax Avoidance http://bit.ly/ky1Znc

  5. Thomas Swingler

    RT @libcon New BBC poll finds 84% against Tax Avoidance http://bit.ly/ky1Znc <- who the hell are the Pro Tax Avoidance 16%?

  6. sunny hundal

    We are the majority: new BBC poll finds 84% of public against Tax Avoidance by companies http://bit.ly/ky1Znc

  7. Vic Forte

    New BBC poll finds 84% against Tax Avoidance http://bit.ly/ky1Znc

  8. shugyokem

    We are the majority: new BBC poll finds 84% of public against Tax Avoidance by companies http://bit.ly/ky1Znc rt @sunny_hundal

  9. Dannny Farr

    We are the majority: new BBC poll finds 84% of public against Tax Avoidance by companies http://bit.ly/ky1Znc

  10. Tim Hardy

    RT @sunny_hundal: We are the majority: new BBC poll finds 84% of public against Tax Avoidance by companies http://bit.ly/ky1Znc

  11. Mabel Horrocks

    We are the majority: new BBC poll finds 84% of public against Tax Avoidance by companies http://bit.ly/ky1Znc

  12. J P

    RT @bc_tmh: RT @sunny_hundal: We are the majority: new BBC poll finds 84% of public against Tax Avoidance by companies http://bit.ly/ky1Znc

  13. False Economy

    RT @libcon: New BBC poll finds 84% against Tax Avoidance http://t.co/ijoFS3T

  14. Maria Barrett

    RT @sunny_hundal: We are the majority: new BBC poll finds 84% of public against Tax Avoidance by companies http://t.co/5KT8MO8

  15. STUC

    New BBC poll finds 84% against Tax Avoidance http://bit.ly/ky1Znc

  16. A Better Way

    New BBC poll finds 84% against Tax Avoidance http://bit.ly/ky1Znc

  17. Lexin

    New BBC poll: 84% against Tax Avoidance | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/OGuMrOD via @libcon

  18. Tamsin

    New BBC poll finds 84% against Tax Avoidance | @libcon http://t.co/pmI6ASw > @falseecon #UKUncut

  19. Pi-Qui Baltink

    RT @sunny_hundal: We are the majority: new BBC poll finds 84% of public against Tax Avoidance by companies http://t.co/5KT8MO8

  20. .

    New BBC poll finds 84% against Tax Avoidance | @libcon http://t.co/pmI6ASw > @falseecon #UKUncut

  21. Gemma

    RT @sunny_hundal: We are the majority: new BBC poll finds 84% of public against Tax Avoidance by companies http://t.co/5KT8MO8

  22. Rose Ville

    RT @libcon: New BBC poll finds 84% against Tax Avoidance http://t.co/ijoFS3T

  23. luther

    BBC poll: 84% of public support govt crackdown on tax avoidance. http://bit.ly/ky1Znc #ukuncut (v @sunny_hundal)

  24. Hannah M

    RT @sunny_hundal: We are the majority: new BBC poll finds 84% of public against Tax Avoidance by companies http://bit.ly/ky1Znc

  25. Sinéad Ní Bheoláin

    RT @sunny_hundal: We are the majority: new BBC poll finds 84% of public against Tax Avoidance by companies http://t.co/5KT8MO8

  26. Christie Malry

    84% want someone else to pay, not them. Quelle surprise! #ukuncut http://bit.ly/mqqaLK

  27. Fazey Pie

    We are the majority: new BBC poll finds 84% of public against Tax Avoidance by companies http://bit.ly/ky1Znc

  28. James.Reekie

    84% want someone else to pay, not them. Quelle surprise! #ukuncut http://bit.ly/mqqaLK

  29. bankofcat

    BBC poll: 84% of public support govt crackdown on tax avoidance. http://bit.ly/ky1Znc #ukuncut (v @sunny_hundal)

  30. Emily Davis

    RT @libcon: New BBC poll finds 84% against Tax Avoidance http://t.co/ijoFS3T

  31. TruthTati

    New BBC poll: 84% against Tax Avoidance | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/dtng692

  32. Maggie Keller

    We are the majority: new BBC poll finds 84% of public against Tax Avoidance by companies http://bit.ly/ky1Znc

  33. Kim Blake

    New BBC poll finds 84% against Tax Avoidance | @libcon http://t.co/pmI6ASw > @falseecon #UKUncut

  34. Luton NUT

    We are the majority: new BBC poll finds 84% of public against Tax Avoidance by companies http://bit.ly/ky1Znc

  35. Matthew Cooke

    New BBC poll finds 84% against Tax Avoidance | @libcon http://t.co/pmI6ASw > @falseecon #UKUncut

  36. Tamworth Talks

    New BBC poll: 84% against Tax Avoidance | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/PJwwzQt via @libcon

  37. textuallimits

    Oh look, people think that the government should make companies pay their taxes: http://t.co/wKyFiAM (via @libcon)

  38. Unite Scotland

    New BBC poll finds 84% against Tax Avoidance http://bit.ly/ky1Znc

  39. Greg

    RT @FalseEcon: RT @libcon: New BBC poll finds 84% against Tax Avoidance http://t.co/ijoFS3T <- could be the silver bullet at next elections

  40. Nick McCarthy

    Tax dodging now socially unacceptable it's official – 84% against Tax Avoidance | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/f7PIqkB via @libcon

  41. James

    New BBC poll finds 84% against Tax Avoidance http://bit.ly/ky1Znc >> I bet most have paid "cash" at some point.

  42. Rich Ward

    RT @libcon: New BBC poll: 84% against Tax Avoidance http://t.co/BszSEqz

  43. ross ofcourse

    Oh look, people think that the government should make companies pay their taxes: http://t.co/wKyFiAM (via @libcon)

  44. Michael

    New BBC poll finds 84% against Tax Avoidance | @libcon http://t.co/pmI6ASw > @falseecon #UKUncut

  45. Maggie Aitch

    #solidarity Vast majority of UK public support aims of @ukuncut, BBC poll finds: http://bit.ly/m9K6Xh

  46. weller

    #solidarity Vast majority of UK public support aims of @ukuncut, BBC poll finds: http://bit.ly/m9K6Xh

  47. Ian Bowns

    #solidarity Vast majority of UK public support aims of @ukuncut, BBC poll finds: http://bit.ly/m9K6Xh

  48. righttoprotest

    #solidarity Vast majority of UK public support aims of @ukuncut, BBC poll finds: http://bit.ly/m9K6Xh

  49. puddy pad

    RT @libcon: New BBC poll: 84% against Tax Avoidance http://t.co/VyMVwmU

  50. NObodySPECIAL

    #solidarity Vast majority of UK public support aims of @ukuncut, BBC poll finds: http://bit.ly/m9K6Xh

  51. Aidan Paul Cradley

    Stating the obvious, but good to see confirmed: New BBC poll: 84% against Tax Avoidance | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/rsETGUx via @libcon

  52. Geoff White

    #solidarity Vast majority of UK public support aims of @ukuncut, BBC poll finds: http://bit.ly/m9K6Xh

  53. Matthew Houlihan

    #solidarity Vast majority of UK public support aims of @ukuncut, BBC poll finds: http://bit.ly/m9K6Xh

  54. Dave Pickering

    #solidarity Vast majority of UK public support aims of @ukuncut, BBC poll finds: http://bit.ly/m9K6Xh

  55. Zeitgeist Supporter

    #solidarity Vast majority of UK public support aims of @ukuncut, BBC poll finds: http://bit.ly/m9K6Xh

  56. Carol Clarke

    #solidarity Vast majority of UK public support aims of @ukuncut, BBC poll finds: http://bit.ly/m9K6Xh

  57. nobby-Lobby

    #solidarity Vast majority of UK public support aims of @ukuncut, BBC poll finds: http://bit.ly/m9K6Xh

  58. Jim Cranshaw

    RT @libcon: New BBC poll: 84% against Tax Avoidance http://t.co/a05i8ct

  59. Hackney Uncut

    #solidarity Vast majority of UK public support aims of @ukuncut, BBC poll finds: http://bit.ly/m9K6Xh

  60. Owen Blacker

    New BBC poll finds 84% against Tax Avoidance http://bit.ly/ky1Znc

  61. Paul Rooke

    Top story: (NotNecessarilyMYViews) New BBC poll: 84% against Tax Avoidance | Liberal … http://goo.gl/HPOJg, see more http://goo.gl/kbInT

  62. Juan Voet

    RT @libcon: New BBC poll finds 84% against Tax Avoidance http://t.co/ijoFS3T

  63. Owen Blacker

    We are the majority: new BBC poll finds 84% of public against Tax Avoidance by companies http://bit.ly/ky1Znc

  64. ceri hughes

    #solidarity Vast majority of UK public support aims of @ukuncut, BBC poll finds: http://bit.ly/m9K6Xh

  65. Andy Parsons

    Poll: large majority support crackdown on tax avoidance. @UKuncut http://bit.ly/iMZlaF

  66. Leics Right To Work

    RT @libcon: New BBC poll finds 84% against Tax Avoidance http://t.co/ijoFS3T

  67. Len Arthur

    RT @libcon: New BBC poll finds 84% against Tax Avoidance http://t.co/ijoFS3T

  68. Morag Robertson

    #solidarity Vast majority of UK public support aims of @ukuncut, BBC poll finds: http://bit.ly/m9K6Xh

  69. Seth Mowshowitz

    #solidarity Vast majority of UK public support aims of @ukuncut, BBC poll finds: http://bit.ly/m9K6Xh

  70. Hot Cross Bunny

    #solidarity Vast majority of UK public support aims of @ukuncut, BBC poll finds: http://bit.ly/m9K6Xh

  71. DarkestAngel

    #solidarity Vast majority of UK public support aims of @ukuncut, BBC poll finds: http://bit.ly/m9K6Xh

  72. Hot Cross Bunny

    RT @sunny_hundal: We are the majority: new BBC poll finds 84% of public against Tax Avoidance by companies http://bit.ly/ky1Znc

  73. Lynn Hancock

    #solidarity Vast majority of UK public support aims of @ukuncut, BBC poll finds: http://bit.ly/m9K6Xh

  74. steve

    RT @tamsinchan: New BBC poll finds 84% against Tax Avoidance | @libcon http://t.co/pmI6ASw #UKuncut

  75. Karen Lobo-Morell

    We are the majority: new BBC poll finds 84% of public against Tax Avoidance by companies http://bit.ly/ky1Znc

  76. Owen Williams

    RT @tamsinchan: New BBC poll finds 84% against Tax Avoidance | @libcon http://t.co/pmI6ASw #UKuncut

  77. For Fox Sake

    New BBC poll: 84% against Tax Avoidance | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/OGuMrOD via @libcon

  78. cllrdarrenfower

    New BBC poll: 84% against Tax Avoidance – http://tinyurl.com/65crhed

  79. Ben Cadwallader

    New BBC poll: 84% against Tax Avoidance – http://tinyurl.com/65crhed

  80. Sam Baxter

    New BBC poll: 84% against Tax Avoidance – http://tinyurl.com/65crhed

  81. Pamela Heywood

    New BBC poll: 84% against Tax Avoidance http://t.co/Z0k8DNCe





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