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Wealthy should pay their share of the tax burden

By Somerset Standard  |  Posted: June 28, 2012

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I'm afraid I don't find comedian Jimmy Carr funny at the best of times, and I'm certainly not amused at the hypocrisy of making jokes about tax avoidance on the telly while quietly stashing away your millions in private.

But of course he is far from alone in using complicated schemes to avoid paying tax.

Indeed, it often seems the richer you are the more intent you become in not paying your fair share.

No one should feel they must pay more tax than the law says they should. But the trouble with schemes such as those employed by Jimmy Carr and many others is that they aren't using legitimate exemptions, they are wholly artificial, designed only to outmanoeuvre the taxman.

No tax scheme is watertight; if you go to great enough lengths you can get round it.

That's one reason why the Government intends to bring in a General Anti-Avoidance Rule next year which catches more of these clever-clever ruses, as well as spending much more on investigations.

But is it right for wealthy people to leave the costs of providing services to "the little people" who pay their taxes? No. If the wealthiest in this country paid their fair share, then income tax could come down by 2p for everyone, or alternatively we wouldn't have to be cutting back on things the less well-off rely on. That's the real moral test involved.

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