You – yes, YOU – are a tax avoider.
That baddie Tory donor (zomg! spit!1!!1) on your TV screen? The one whose evil tax-avoidance activities have single-handedly torn unicorn toys from the hands of nurses’ babies? YOU do the same thing. Ed Miliband’s avoidance of inheritance tax on his family home? YOU are of the same cloth. You EVIL FIEND.
Every time you buy [cold] food, you avoid tax. Because you take advantage of the loophole in Govt tax legislation which sets food as zero-rated for VAT. Your ISA? Another “loophole”. A shocking, underhand loophole which you exploit (like the monster you so clearly are) to avoid – yes, AVOID – paying income tax on the returns that you’ve chiselled on your personal wealth. And the duty-free gin you bought Granny on the way back from the USA? She’ll be getting a knock, soon. Midnight. Blanket over the head, into the back of the Black Maria. The tax avoidance mob are FEWMIN’.
But how? How, you blub, bedazzled under the high noon glare as you’re papped again outside Asda – how can this be?
I’m only following the rules, you venture. I did what I was allowed. It wasn’t “aggressive”. I looked at my personal circumstances, and at the public statutes, and I charted a course in my own favour. The Govt even offered it to me – it’s an incentive, they said, to use a pension scheme, because saving is GOOD. (weep, choke, gnash etc.).
But the other guy, you say, as you point wide-eyed at the front pages of the newspapers. His circumstances are different to mine. He looks like he’s got more money, too, so whatever calculation he may be doing must be somehow dishonest, and he can certainly afford to pay MOAR. And I DEFINITELY don’t like the sound of “schemes” and “deeds” and anything involving a lawyer – because tax law just enforces itself, right? There’s no need for professionals to measure and advise on the tax rules, because only the ones I personally understand (because I saw an ad on daytime telly) can be in any way valid.
So, you say, what must I do? How do I expunge this mortal stain on my own small private world? CLEARLY I’m the good guy here, yet it’s IMPOSSIBLE for me not to avoid tax in some way.
Really, you only have two choices. Firstly, you must compute, exhaustively, every single tax wheeze you’ve taken advantage of over all these years (you criminal bastard, yadda yadda), and then you must voluntarily grant the balance to the Govt. Ideally in public – local newspapers can help with this #TopTaxTip – so as to add to the SHAME of those others yet to do the same. You better bend right over, though, because paying the Govt e.g. the extra 20% on all food you’ve ever bought, is going to sting. Soz.
Secondly, you need to demand – nay, raise a veritable ARMY of outrage – that the Govt begins to arrest everyone doing 30mph in a 30 limit. It’s only fair, right? Because since you don’t understand the actual boundary of the rules, and since anyone who even inadvertently takes advantage of them (like you) is a flower-raping Satan hugger, then the only way to be SURE everything’s all lefty-pukka is to shame Granny – your poor, gin-addled Granny, in her dark police cell – into following some other, imaginary set of rules whereby everyone slows down to 15mph in the 30 limit.
And these imaginary rules – these “right” rules on tax that are “fair” simply because you personally think you understand them and also it looks like the evil Tory guy is sweating a bit – these imaginary rules ultimately will be enforced not by law, the Govt, but by you. YOU, personally, will decide what’s “fair”. Mainly, of course, this means that what YOU do is fine, but it’s the OTHER guy who’s going to be picking up the soap with his back to the wall.