My ‘friend’ Longrider has been sounding off again ripping apart my ‘logical fallacies’ in the recent posts I published about tax. You can read his latest here.
Normally I would comment on his article at his place, but as he blocks me from commenting I reluctantly have to respond here.
The thrust of his argument is twofold. Firstly he continues to insist that the self employed shouldn’t pay the same NIC for unequal benefits. It might surprise him to know that I agree with him. However, the fact is that even after the proposed NI increases, the self employed will still be paying less than employed.
It is sensible that the government has delayed the changes until later in the year. In the summer the House will examine benefits and it will be made clear how the benefits the self employed enjoy have been improved to bring them closer – not equal but closer – to those given to the employed.
Secondly, he regards all taxation as theft. This is patent nonsense. He sites the waste of government as his justification for this stance. Again he may surprised that I agree with him that much government spending is wasteful and shameful, but that is not the real issue. There has to be collective responsibilty for the operation of a civilised society.
He rightly points out the difference between tax avoidance and tax evasion. As a chartered accountant I am well aware of the difference. Avoidance is perfectly legal and a thorough knowledge of tax legislation should always be used to ensure each person or organisation pays the proper amounts required by law and no more.
The morality and fairness is irrelevant when one is filling a tax return, as I do every year. Several of them, in fact! However, it is proper to consider such issues when framing the laws that govern what level of tax is appropriate.
I am criticised for citing large companies who pay little or no UK tax on their profits. They do this by setting up complex corporate structures to artificially move profits to tax shelters, thereby paying little tax in countries when their profits are generated. There are laws – too lax in my view – that make such practices illegal in the UK.
And are such schemes immoral? Well it’s answer that depends on which side of the fence you’re sitting, isn’t it?
So let’s have a direct quote from the self appointed expert. He’s fond of quotes so how about this one from him?
“So, to summarise, there is no morality in taxation; merely theft”
Right on the first, but the second is ‘a logical fallacy’ and ‘cockwaffle’
Feel free to comment because I don’t censor you the way you censor me…