Why should we taxpayers bail out the tax avoiders?

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Jill Insley of the Observer has written a piece asking why expats who banked with Icelandic banks in Guernsey should have the right (as they seem to think to be the case) to a UK government baiul out for the funds they have lost.

Jill didn't agree. Nor do I. I've added this comment to her article:


You're 100% right to make these observations.

Four things:

1) Expats could have kept their money in the UK without problem. Any tax paid here would simply have offset tax due in their new home. Tax avoidance was therefore an enormous part of the reason for moving funds to the Channel Islands

2) Many of those complaining will, no doubt have also opted for the tax withholding option in Guernsey. If they did then I know of only one reason for doing so, and that is tax evasion. The withholding option at 15% did not cancel tax due in the country of residence, but in choosing it the person availing themselves of it explicitly denied information on their tax affairs to the country in which they were resident, so providing opportunity to evade tax in that place. Let us be unambiguous: this is a key attraction to users of the Channel Islands and those Islands know it. That is why they have fought to hard to keep the withholding option and so deliberately facilitate this criminal activity in which all our own major banks are knowingly involved.

3) If you choose to invest in a place which advocates no or low tax why should you rely on the state to bail you out, especially if you are an expat?

4) Whatever happened to caveat emptor - let the buyer beware? Wasn't it obvious to anyone that there were safer options available?

I have no sympathy for those who have lost, bar one group. They are the genuine local residents who have suffered. They are the real victims of their Islands being captured by tax abusers.