Posted by Christie Malry on December 11, 2012 at 10:15 pm
Ritchie has the following to say about the avoidance opportunities provided by the government's proposals on employee shares
Now it is time for the government to realise that people really do not like shoddy tax avoidance arrangements, too easily available for abuse when what is really required are proper tax collection arrangements to ensure that the right people pay the right tax at the right time.
Do you see what he's done here? He's changed the definition of tax avoidance. He usually defines tax avoidance to be:
Tax avoidance is about getting around the law: finding loopholes and abuses never intended by parliament e.g. by routing income through a tax haven.
That's not the same at all. It's not difficult to imagine tax deductions that were officially sanctioned by Parliament but which don't, in Ritchie's view, lead to tax being paid in the right place at the right time by the right people.
So is it the will of Parliament or the will of Richard Murphy that really matters here? If it's the latter, he must accept he's a raging megalomaniac. If the former, a great deal of what he has previously described as avoidance is simply the will of Parliament. And therefore cannot be avoidance.
You'll remember Ritchie has tinkered with his definitions before.