The Oxford dictionaries definitions are:
- Tax Evasion is the illegal non-payment or underpayment of tax.
- Tax Avoidance is the arrangement of one’s financial affairs to minimize tax liability within the law.
Now that all sounds pretty straight-forward does it not? One is illegal, one is within the law. So here are some thoughts;
- Why do the media continually seem to confuse these two things or treat them as the same thing? They are not. This leads me to think about the importance of accurate definitions. To wrongly define is to wrongly understand. How critical that is in understanding the far more important issues of eternity, Scripture and the Lord.
- All of us are tax avoiders. I have yet to come across someone who is arranging their affairs so they can pay more tax.
- So why is there all this sanctimonious talk about the companies who seek to minimize their taxes? It seems plain hypocrisy to me. They are only doing what we all do.
- Tax evasion is illegal and the perpetrators should feel the full force of the law.
- From my brief studies of taxation, the whole matter is a cat-and-mouse affair. The government makes the rules. The taxation advisers find the loop-holes to benefit their clients. The governments then closes the loop-holes.
- If Mr Osborne, the chancellor of the Exchequer, is so concerned about tax avoidance, I suggest he should get himself some better advisers. It is for the government to set the rules.
- If tax evasion is taking place, the authorities should be involved and the perpetrators prosecuted.