Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Tax avoiders should be celebrated not castrated

Hard Working Girl © fintag

News comments:
So there I was enjoying the new glossy white and stripped oak offerings in Conran on a Bank Holiday Monday when an elderly hunched man was led through the front door by his nurse.

But I was wrong. The nurse happened to own the most expensive residential property in the USA and he has enough wealth to bail out Italy. And then I got thinking about how was it possible this man had accumulated so much wealth from owning the IP of a car racing programme. He spends a lot of time in high tax London and yet, as George Osbourne learned at the weekend he pays virtually no tax at all.

Screams from the USA where Private Equity carried interest is now understood for what it is, a tax avoiders dream, are now penetrating the socialist debt loving ears of the UK government. And yes, I do believe the UK Chancellor is really a SWP spy.

Apparently if you pay less than 30% tax a year you are scum (take note Ken Livingstone).

I am scum. Last year, like many in my industry I paid no tax. It was quite simple. I didn't pay myself anything. And yet I am being told I am not paying my fair share to bail out politicians who I never elected for to pay their credit card off.

The hypocrisy about tax is startling. This government encourages its people NOT to pay tax or to pay tax at a lower rate than those poor people stuck on PAYE who have to pay tax and national insurance. Wage slaves indeed.

Here are some ways to avoid tax:

Buy Government Debt. Gilts. No tax payable on interest earned.

Buy Residential Property. Profits on sale. No tax.

Save. ISAs. No tax on gains.

Invest. EIS. Tax breaks. Encouragements to not pay as much tax as everyone else.

Business. LLPs. A legal entity construct. Limited company corporate partners sheltering income until tax rates come down (Hedge Funds favourite tax avoidance scheme). Tax paid until another day.

These are all legal. Enshrined in law. Some are badly drafted and its a lawyers game of fun. We read in the FT that Stamp Duty is optional. Instead of selling your freehold house at £4m, sell it as 25 year leasehold house with an option to buy the freehold in the future (via side letter) at a £1. Value of property falls to a £1million and STD falls into a lower band.

If the laws are badly drafted why should the UK citizen say "Oh dear I am sure they didn't mean that so I will send some extra tax revenue to my government because I am a nice person". Tax avoiders should be celebrated for showing up the inadequacies of the law and why more rules equals more opportunities to get round them.

The new tax year has started and like many in the UK we will be celebrating our democratic right to decide when we should pay tax. Just as much as I can choose not to buy a new car and pay VAT at 20% and instead buy one that is 6 months old with no VAT to pay, to piling in provisions and expenses into my LLP and Limited Companies and ensuring my IP agreement and patents are locked up in a safety deposit box in Ireland, I look forward to seeing the price of iPads and Kindle books double in price as the UK government taxes Apple and Amazon for trying to be smart arses.

Tax. Too much of it given to the wrong people to spend badly.

Today's shorts:
Tax Avoiding Trust Man who owns a large chunk of a large company says he shops at Primark (telegraph)

Today's longs:
David Cameron goes to Japan to learn how to manage debt (reuters)

Hedge Fund industry to go on strike because enough is enough.


Anonymous said...

Of course Gilts, banks and residential property are now also being backed by taxes and your favourite local riot police....

Anonymous said...

I live in Italy where the tax debate has a distinctly different tone: here tax avoiders are not people who take advantage of the laws in an optimal way, they are people who lie about what they're earning and don't get checked by the authorities. People like doctors, dentists, lawyers even notaries whose function is to represent the state and reap huge monopoly profits doing it.

Should they be celebrated as well according to you? Maybe they should, after all they're just exposing the weaknesses of the system.