View more on these topics

Panorama: Informed tax expose or superficial sensationalism?

Tony-Wickenden-MM-Peach-700x450.jpg

The use of  ”superficial sensationalism” in the title  does not represent Technical Connection supporting aggressive tax avoidance. It’s just a plea for a little more grown up journalism.

Last night’s programme on tax avoidance didn’t really help the debate …. and caused me to miss Corrie!

The majority of the programme felt like an advert for a mini…. and was the driver exceeding the speed limit?

That aside, a little balance wouldn’t have gone amiss.

Practitioners know that the UK tax system is over engineered. And it is this that has given rise to the loopholes to be exploited in an environment where being within the “letter of the law” was what counted. But it is also known that the game in relation to avoidance and what will and won’t be accepted has actually changed .

That is not to say that all is now perfect. Such an enormous change will take time to bed in …. but maybe not that much time .

Underpinning this change is the General Anti Abuse Rule aimed at reinforcing specific anti-avoidance provisions and ensuring that the intention of parliament is enforced and  not easily side-stepped.

It’s early days but this legislation represents an attempt at real change to what is and isn’t permissible in relation to avoidance.

There is real evidence that this new legislation  plus the continuing “naming and shaming” plus purposive judgements in the courts and tribunals is bringing about a change to the public (individual and corporate)  attitude to and appetite for avoidance.

And the GAAR wasn’t even mentioned in the programme.

David Heaton was of course – as was the Chancellor’s “grubby mitts”.

Important for advisers to remember and to reinforce with their clients is that action that is specifically contemplated by and even encouraged by legislation and is not abusive (as defined by the GAAR) will be acceptable and effective.

Future legislation on any currently effective planning cannot be ruled out of course. The possible new “anti fragmentation” rules are a good example of this. But the new zeitgeist doesn’t mean that no planning is possible or that all planning is unacceptable .

And in closing, let’s not forget that there is a very delicate line for the Government to draw between “over incentivising” some businesses and individuals with tax breaks in the law that could be perceived as unfair and making the UK an environment that is a good place to do business in a way that benefits (commercially) the business, and the people of the UK.

Tony Wickenden is joint managing director of Technical Connection 

Access full CPD, technical updates and business generation ideas through Techlink Professional. Go to www.techlink.co.uk  and click the Contact Us link at the top of the screen and then request your free trial from the drop down menu.

Recommended

Phillip-Bray-MM-Peach-700x450.png
3

Phillip Bray: My concerns about non-advised annuities

Annuities have dominated the headlines over the past few months, with the debate fuelled by veteran Labour MP Frank Field’s call for an Office of Fair Trading investigation into the non-advised annuity market. Then last week it emerged that Which? is entering the at-retirement market with both advised and non-advised propositions. I have no problem […]

2

Steve Webb admits Govt should have banned consultancy charging earlier

Pensions minister Steve Webb says the Government should have acted to ban consultancy charging two years ago and admitted it was late to clampdown on charges ahead of auto-enrolment. Speaking at a Standard Life fringe event on pensions at the Liberal Democrat conference in Glasgow today, Webb said he was “gobsmacked” at the lack of […]

James-Prosser-MS-4Sep-Index.jpg

MBE organisers seek injunction against Financial Services Expo boss

Clarion Events, organiser of the Mortgage Business Expo, has issued legal proceedings against former employee James Prosser and his company Front Events, which is organising rival industry trade fair the Financial Services Expo. In a statement, Clarion says it is seeking “an urgent order of the court in relation to duties owed by the former […]

10 September thumbnail

Johnson Fleming set to hold auto-enrolment support webinar

Two years since the process of auto-enrolment began, the looming re-enrolment deadline provides the perfect opportunity to assess whether the support you have in place, which may well have been hastily selected at the start, is fit for purpose. Johnson Fleming is holding a webinar on 10 September at 11:00 to discover the key issues and concerns you should consider when thinking about your current support options.

Newsletter

News and expert analysis straight to your inbox

Sign up

Comments

    Leave a comment

    Close

    Why register with Money Marketing ?

    Providing trusted insight for professional advisers.  Since 1985 Money Marketing has helped promote and analyse the financial adviser community in the UK and continues to be the trusted industry brand for independent insight and advice.

    News & analysis delivered directly to your inbox
    Register today to receive our range of news alerts including daily and weekly briefings

    Money Marketing Events
    Be the first to hear about our industry leading conferences, awards, roundtables and more.

    Research and insight
    Take part in and see the results of Money Marketing's flagship investigations into industry trends.

    Have your say
    Only registered users can post comments. As the voice of the adviser community, our content generates robust debate. Sign up today and make your voice heard.

    Register now

    Having problems?

    Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3712

    Lines are open Monday to Friday 9:00am -5.00pm

    Email: customerservices@moneymarketing.com