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Budget 2011: anti-avoidance

Speed read

The Budget document entitled Tackling tax avoidance expressly recognises the difference between tax avoidance and tax evasion and that the former remains lawful. It sets out ways in which the so-called ‘tax gap’ of £40 billion is being challenged and specifically the estimated one-sixth of that which is said to be due to tax avoidance. Once the reader gets past lazy and self-evident phrases such as ‘tax avoidance is not a new problem’ it is clear that the government is adopting a more intelligent approach than its predecessor, including detailed reviews of areas such as income tax loss relief and unit trusts which have been repeatedly used for avoidance schemes.

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