To me, paying tax means that I'm doing well; the more I pay, the more I'm earning. As an ex-IFA, I'm often asked what's the difference between tax avoidance (legal) and tax evasion (illegal), apart from the obvious.
Well it's a thin line, ultimately the Govt. makes the rules to decide what is legal and what isn't. It actively promotes that you avoid tax by encouraging everyone to open a tax free ISA. Also, should you wish to plan your inheritance tax bill 7 years in advance, prior to passing away, you can avoid a 40% bill on the inheritance - again one of their rules. Make a gift to someone and as long as you live more than 7 years there's no tax to pay! Both are legal and well known ways to avoid tax. I personally don't want to give the Govt any more than I have to and I'd want my children to get everything I ever worked for. This is avoidance and it's what you pay an accountant or an IFA to help you plan for the future.
Pay more tax than you need to if you want but don't complain if someone else doesn't want to and seeks advice to reduce it - it's legal after all. Don't get mad, make a difference!
This TED talk (I like watching videos) takes it one step further with offshore tax avoidance. It is legal but is it morally right? Until Govts. address the problem, their laws, nothing will change.
Together, we can end the secrecy that is currently allowing tax evasion, corruption, money laundering to flourish.
If you want to make a difference take a look at Global Witness and Robert Palmer's talk here:
On April 3, 2016 we saw the largest data leak in history. The Panama Papers exposed rich and powerful people hiding vast amounts of money in offshore accounts. But what does it all mean? We called Robert Palmer of Global Witness to find out.