Tax avoidance, who’s to blame? You decide

I recently read an article about a businessman who is suing his accountant because the accountant didn’t tell him to seek specialist advice about a tax avoidance scheme. We’re not talking small change either; the sum that was successfully sued for was £1.4million, although this will certainly go to appeal.

The judge is siding with the non-domiciled refugee who obtained political asylum because he could not go back to his war torn country. The claim was that the accountant did not recommend that the businessman seek specialist advice about opportunities for aggressive tax avoidance which his non-domiciled status created.

There is so much confusion here; the judge is confused, the accountant is confused and the businessman doesn’t know whether he’s coming or going. One question we have is how can a tax system suggest this businessman is not domiciled here when he has nowhere else to go?

So, is it the accountant’s fault for not considering the non-domicile tax rules? Is it the businessman’s fault for trying to avoid paying proper UK tax? Or is the tax system at fault for being confusing and contradicting?


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