Some people do want to pay their taxes, in full

Posted on

The BBC has run a piece on people who want to pay their taxes on their web site. Good for the people in question.

But what I also noted in the piece was this:

Any public figure who takes a stand against tax avoidance, indeed, risks having the minutiae of their financial affairs scrutinised for evidence of hypocrisy.

Judith Freedman, professor of taxation law and fellow of Worcester College, Oxford, says this reflects the fact that the phrase "tax avoidance" is defined too loosely.

"Everyone does what they can to reduce the tax payable within the law," she says. "I don't think you should castigate the people who have responded to the incentives."

No, of course you don't Judith. That's the whole philosophy of the Oxford Centre for the Non-Taxation of Business  Oxford Centre for Business Taxation, after all. Call it 'anything legal goes'.

But as the BBC note that approach has been rumbled:

For others, there is no ambiguity. [Businessman John] Caudwell says it's "complete nonsense" to compare ordinary paying into Isa savings accounts and pensions, which are subject to tax breaks purposefully created by parliament, with the exploiting loopholes sought out by accountants.

Quite so.