Richard Murphy of Tax Research UK believes Robert Peston is “just wrong”. Here’s the link to the Peston article, and here’s what Mr Murphy had to say:
It’s hard to see how a man who has got so far can be so wrong on tax avoidance.
As Peston puts it:
Blairmore’s tax avoidance does not in and of itself prove that Ian Cameron and his family avoided tax.
I beg to differ.
So first, let’s be clear what the objective of tax compliance – that is tax honesty – is. It is seeking to pay the right amount of tax (but no more) at the right rate, in the right place at the right time, where right means that the economic substance of the transactions undertaken coincides with the place and form in which they are reported for taxation purposes.
So what is tax avoidance? That is using loopholes within and between laws and legal systems to make sure that tax payments are not compliant (as defined above) in ways that do not breach the law.
In this case is what Ian Cameron did tax avoidance? Yes, of course it is.
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