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Targeted anti-avoidance rules

We might rather loosely divide reliefs in our tax system into two types: those designed to shape our tax system – by improving progressivity ensuring the ‘correct’ calculation of profits and so on – and those through which the government of the day seeks to encourage certain types of behaviour in order to advance its policy objectives. Come to think of it there’s a third type too: those through which the government of yesterday sought to deliver its policy objectives and which no one has bothered to remove. But I’ll park that whine for another day.

What I want to focus on here is that second type. Government spends – perhaps more accurately it relinquishes in taxable receipts but the result is the same – north of £100bn on...

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