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Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Paying taxes

Today's Telegraph highlights the latest celebrities to be revealed as taking advantage of tax avoidance schemes.  They claim that members of pop group Take That have invested at least £26m in a scheme believed by HMRC to be a method of avoiding tax. In this regard they join nearly 1,000 other wealthy individuals.

This follows earlier claims that the comedian Jimmy Carr has also been linked to a tax avoidance scheme.

There is no suggestion that the scheme used by members of Take That is illegal but HMRC have indicated they will be challenging it in a tribunal in November.  A spokesperson for HMRC told the paper that his organisation is extremely effective at shutting down tax avoidance schemes fast and effectively.

"The avoidance “industry” has been seriously undermined by HMRC’s focus on tackling avoidance – preventing billions of pounds of tax being diverted from the Exchequer.

“In our 2010 spending review the Government made £917m available to us to tackle avoidance, evasion and fraud. This is being used to ensure a level playing field for all taxpayers.”

There cannot be one rule for the rich and another for the rest within the tax system. Tax avoidance needs to be stamped out and as consumers of the material produced by these celebrities we should be clear that we do not agree with their actions, if necessary by boycotting them and their merchandise.

Can we start then at the EU level where a number of EU officials get HUGE salaries and HUGE perks and don't pay ANY TAXES. Thank You.
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