Tax adviser calls for clarity

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A TAX advisor has hit back at the debate over comedian Jimmy Carr’s use of the K2 tax avoidance clause by calling on the Government to pursue the ‘real’ criminals who illegally avoid tax and claim benefits rather than attacking hard working people.

Keith Senior, senior director of Jacobs Allen, chartered accountants and chartered tax advisers in Bury St Edmunds, says there needs to be more clarity over the issues raised, including whether it is a moral or legal matter.

He said this week that there were broad scales of how much tax people could pay, ranging from the maximum without any relief or planning to avoid ‘attack’ by HM Revenue and Customs to deliberately evading tax. In between there were a broad range of options and there was concern at how HMRC and the Government were trying to redraw the dividing line between what was and was not acceptable.

“If a legal scheme such as the reported K2 scheme reduces risk compared to other arrangements, is it not reasonable to understand that a businessperson would want to use it to reduce their risk?” he said.

Tax accountants faced the dilemma between judging clients as ‘morally bankrupt’ and not providing any access to planning or providing as wide a range of options and risks and allowing client to make their own decision, he added.