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Paradise Papers are a distraction Watch

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    (Original post by ByEeek)
    I hear what you are saying, but the law of unintended consequences is always unleashed when you rewrite something. Many a top 20 world software company went out of business because some loon thought it would be a good idea to launch version 4 of their software as a rewrite. Think Netscape and Lotus Notes and whole divisions of IBM have all gone under because someone thought it would be a good time to start from scratch. In their time, they were giants. Now they no longer exist. If we started tax law from scratch the amount the government took would plummet and the number of loop holes would be gigantic.

    Starting from scratch always seems like a good idea, but neglects the fact that the hundreds of years of tweaks and improvements that have been made to improve things. Our current tax law is not perfect but it is pretty good. The sort of tax fiddles going on right now have only really been around en-mass for the last few years and are a result of increased globalisation. Our tax law simply needs tweaking to keep up. That said, it isn't a UK problem. It is a world problem in a global market place.
    Not really if you look at when it has grown in size you will see most of it is very recent in the last couple of decades.

    Rewriting it simply takes out many of the holes and makes it easier to understand.
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    (Original post by paul514)
    Not really if you look at when it has grown in size you will see most of it is very recent in the last couple of decades.

    Rewriting it simply takes out many of the holes and makes it easier to understand.
    But supposedly they have just finished this

    http://webarchive.nationalarchives.g...rite/index.htm
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    (Original post by paul514)
    Rewriting it simply takes out many of the holes and makes it easier to understand.
    And in doing so introduces lots of things the people writing from scratch even didn't think about or even forgot.

    Here is an excellent blog article (and I mean truly excellent) on why you should never rewrite software. And software, like tax law is exceedingly complex, convoluted, full of holes and bugs and is difficult to understand. Yet starting from scratch is a terrible thing. Catastrophic in fact.

    https://www.joelonsoftware.com/2000/...ver-do-part-i/

    If only Brexiters had read this article! :-)
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    (Original post by nulli tertius)
    "No man in the country is under the smallest obligation, moral or other, so to arrange his legal relations to his business or property as to enable the Inland Revenue to put the largest possible shovel in his stores. The Inland Revenue is not slow, and quite rightly, to take every advantage which is open to it under the Taxing Statutes for the purposes of depleting the taxpayer's pocket. And the taxpayer is in like manner entitled to be astute to prevent, so far as he honestly can, the depletion of his means by the Inland Revenue"

    Lord Clyde
    'Honestly' is a different word to 'legally' though isn't it?

    Dunno what the Ayrshire case was actually about but there's a lot of stuff that doesn't sound very honest coming to the surface atm.
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    Agree, a pretty dull bit of investigative journalism so far. No law breaking and not even a holier than thou politician or fat cat celebrity to bring to account so far.
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    (Original post by Joinedup)
    'Honestly' is a different word to 'legally' though isn't it?

    Dunno what the Ayrshire case was actually about but there's a lot of stuff that doesn't sound very honest coming to the surface atm.
    Man enters into partnership deed with children. Agreement says fathers' interest limited to repayment of capital advanced, otherwise split equally amongst children. Children not to draw until father's capital repaid. Start of partnership backdated to beginning of previous tax year. The Revenue argue that no true partnership. All profits belong to father. Taxpayer wins on partnership point and loses on backdating point.

    The case was a 3-1 decision in the Inner House of the Court of Session. The Crown was represented by the Solicitor General for Scotland. The taxpayer took the precaution of retaining as junior counsel, the eldest son of the presiding judge.

    There was quite a bit of dishonesty arising from those Panama Papers, nothing really here so far.
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    Absolute disgrace by the Conservative parliament
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    (Original post by ismailali)
    Absolute disgrace by the Conservative parliament
    What is?
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    (Original post by nulli tertius)
    But supposedly they have just finished this

    http://webarchive.nationalarchives.g...rite/index.htm
    Well that’s lovely but that’s from 2014 and no obvious change has been made so far
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    (Original post by paul514)
    Well that’s lovely but that’s from 2014 and no obvious change has been made so far
    The rewrite was completed between 2001 and 2011.

    My own view is that a lot of effort and a lot of Parliamentary time was wasted on a project of very little value.
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    When it comes to tax it's purely a case of competition driving down the price (in this case nations competing drives down the strength of regulation). Ultimate there are few ways out of this since the UK aims to have global firms register here and hardening our regulation would drive them to register elsewhere and so we'd only get their UK profits taxed. This is made worse by membership of the EU because they'd rather have money in Luxembourg or Monaco who will co-operate with them than elsewhere. It's also why we give our territories free reign (better to have somebody that will give us information).

    Since a global solution will never be agreed to our choices are to compete or accept less HQ's being in the UK with the jobs and global profit taxation they bring. Fortunately it would appear that we quite good at competing on tax.
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    (Original post by nulli tertius)
    The rewrite was completed between 2001 and 2011.

    My own view is that a lot of effort and a lot of Parliamentary time was wasted on a project of very little value.
    Hold on I’ve seen a piece on the daily politics in the last few years how the size had doubled in the last 10 years.

    Did the project you linked end up creating more words or less?
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    (Original post by paul514)
    Hold on I’ve seen a piece on the daily politics in the last few years how the size had doubled in the last 10 years.

    Did the project you linked end up creating more words or less?
    More, undoubtedly more.

    Howe and Lawson were the only Chancellors since the 1960s (possibly the War) who didn't consider the tax code to be a job creation scheme for accountants and lawyers.
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    (Original post by nulli tertius)
    More, undoubtedly more.

    Howe and Lawson were the only Chancellors since the 1960s (possibly the War) who didn't consider the tax code to be a job creation scheme for accountants and lawyers.
    I wish I could get the video from daily politics that I saw it was higher than the presenter when stacked and then he showed how much extra had been added in the past decade and it was double the size
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    (Original post by That Bearded Man)
    The issue isnt the loopholes (agree they should be closed) the issue that we have companies that specifically work to exploit the loopholes (immorally) and the people in power have no motive to close them since they too benefit.
    Moral or immoral, the ability of our government to collect taxes is ultimately based on the strength of the law which supports it rather than one's subjective view of the morality of taxes. I personally do not blame companies and rich people for taking advantage of the law to protect their money, it's only natural. But that doesn't mean it's good for society as a whole. We need to simplify our tax code and reduce the possibility of this kind of legal tax avoidance, any other proposal is likely to be ineffective.
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    (Original post by ByEeek)
    I hear what you are saying, but the law of unintended consequences is always unleashed when you rewrite something. Many a top 20 world software company went out of business because some loon thought it would be a good idea to launch version 4 of their software as a rewrite. Think Netscape and Lotus Notes and whole divisions of IBM have all gone under because someone thought it would be a good time to start from scratch. In their time, they were giants. Now they no longer exist. If we started tax law from scratch the amount the government took would plummet and the number of loop holes would be gigantic.

    Starting from scratch always seems like a good idea, but neglects the fact that the hundreds of years of tweaks and improvements that have been made to improve things. Our current tax law is not perfect but it is pretty good. The sort of tax fiddles going on right now have only really been around en-mass for the last few years and are a result of increased globalisation. Our tax law simply needs tweaking to keep up. That said, it isn't a UK problem. It is a world problem in a global market place.
    I wouldn't go as far as saying we should rewrite it from scratch, but there's room for simplification. There are plenty of unnecessary provisions, exemptions, deductions etc which leave the door open for avoidance to occur.
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    (Original post by Sycatonne23)
    I wouldn't go as far as saying we should rewrite it from scratch, but there's room for simplification. There are plenty of unnecessary provisions, exemptions, deductions etc which leave the door open for avoidance to occur.
    How do you simplify the licensing terms that are used to offset profits around the world? There are many legitimate companies that buy or license overseas products as part of their offering and other companies that just use a holding company to offshore profits for the balance sheet. How do you differentiate the two in tax law?
 
 
 
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