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Accountants to be Responsible for Tax Avoidance

Tax avoidance is definitely a problem, mainly among the super rich who setup tax havens and offshore holdings that mean they pay little, if no tax at all.

Well, new plans have suggested maybe it should be the accountants that help these tax dodgers who should be held responsible.

Let’s face it, they are, in many cases, the architects so to speak, and if it wasn’t for their knowledge many of these millionaires and billionaires wouldn’t be able to get away with paying so little.

The proposals have called for accountants to be fined 100% of the tax that was avoided. In other words, if a court says Mr Billionaire didn’t pay 5 million in tax last year, then his accountant will no doubt be out of business pretty quickly.

These rules would be designed to stop tax avoidance right at the foundation, and although it might seem a bit harsh, and will no doubt cause a lot of debate, both in the UK and abroad, there is no denying that if accountants were held responsible then tax avoidance would not be costing the government billions of pounds a year.

While I think the plans do have merit, in reality I don’t really see how this can move forward successfully.

Maybe on a smaller level, but surely accountants couldn’t be held responsible for the actions of someone else…could they? Only time will tell, but my initial reaction is that it would be very difficult to bring forward and enforce.

Just to be clear, the new plans are not talking about accountants who help their clients avoid paying tax legitimately. This is completely legal and is one of the main jobs of an accountant, because ultimately everyone wants to pay less tax.

What we are talking about here is accountants who come up with schemes and illegal ways for their clients to avoid paying the tax they owe.

I know one thing: it will definitely get harder for individuals to dodge tax in the future, as the government really are looking to do everything in their power to to stop offenders.

Even the new PM has pledged her support, recently saying “tax is the price we pay for living in a civilised society.”

She is right of course, and even if you are a company like Google or Amazon then you should have to pay tax on all income while a registered UK company.

Now, these kind of companies can afford the best accountants out there, but these new plans will certainly make a lot of them think twice about doing anything that could be considered against the rules.

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