(This was originally posted to Farcebook notes on the 10th of June 2011)
In just a few months the subject of Tax Avoidance and Evasion has been dragged kicking and screaming into the mainstream. A poll by the BBC this week found that 84% of people think Tax Avoidance should be cracked down on by the Government. Interesting side note on this, it was 93% in Scotland. However 49% of people agreed that companies SHOULD do whatever they can to avoid tax if they can do so legally, in order to maximise profits for their shareholders.
To me, this says that half the country would avoid tax if they could. So I thought I’d share my 10 point guide on how to avoid tax.
1. Income tax. It’s very hard to avoid income tax for the majority in this country as it’s taken from your wages before you see a penny. But if you take a job that earns less than £7,475, the current personal allowance, you won’t pay any tax. And if you are over 75 you can earn £10,090. So great news for all the oldies out there.
2. VAT. The ultimate in stealth tax. It’s very hard to follow what has VAT on it, and what doesn’t, mainly thanks to the cost of something being raised to cover VAT charges on things like distribution. So no way of getting round this. But if you are savvy enough, you can buy goods that don’t have VAT on them. Absolutely everything electrical has VAT added, so avoid buying anything like this. Most foodstuffs are VAT free, for example gingerbreadmen. VAT free, but as soon as the baker puts some icing buttons on him, it’s got VAT. So avoid icing, icecream, crisps, shelled nuts and all confections. Clothes for kids are VAT free, but sadly adult clothes are not. The way around paying VAT here is to buy everything from a charity shop. VAT free and you are helping a charity. Certainly a damn sight cheaper as well.
3. Fuel. Gas and Electricity have 5% VAT added, so time to turn everything off in the house, from heating to the computer you are reading this on. Wait! Read the rest of it first. 66%, 2 thirds of petrol and diesel is TAX, between Fuel Duty and VAT. So that’s the car gone. But that’s good as you’ll then be saving on the next TAX Avoidance scheme.
4. Car TAX. Well we’ve already avoided tax by not buying petrol so you might as well get rid of the car. Tax saved. This is great if you have kids as well. Since you’ll also avoid the 5% VAT charged on daft things like booster seats, baby seats, restraint straps…all them daft things that they make you use for kids when you have a car. And no need for MOT’s, servicing and repairs, all of which come with 20% VAT tagged on to the bill. You could get yourself a chaffeur driven car, which you can claim the tax back on. But chances are you’ll not be able to afford that if you are now earning the pittance of 7 grand a year.
5. Childcare. You might think it’s a bit shitty that childcare is taxed and you can’t claim the tax back, especially when you can on a fucking chaffeur. So let the kids roam the streets while you are at your miserabley low paid job. Best to get them to play in the woods where no-one will see them though, or you’ll probably be reported for neglect.
6. Cigarette TAX. 88% of that pack of B&H you are sucking on as you read this, goes to the treasury. As a smoker I know how hard it is to live without that relaxing puff. But the only other way to avoid paying TAX on fags is to pop down the local market and buy them out of the back of a van. But that would be illegal (not to mention the fact that they are probably counterfiet) and this is about avoiding tax LEGALLY. So stub it out.
7. Alcohol TAX. about 43% of the cost of that can of Special Brew that helps dull your senses to all the shit that goes on in the world is TAX. So get ready for those DT’s cos that’s the booze gone too.
8. Council TAX. A tough one to crack this. The Freemen Movement are currently campaigning against Council Tax, and succeeding slowly. It would take way to long to explain the legal details of their case, so I won’t. Google it if you want to know more. But the easiest way to avoid paying council tax is to sell everything in your house (which you really should pay tax on any profits made, but I’ll say fuck all if you want to not mention it to the taxman), grab your charity shop clothes, and move into a tent. A campsite will charge you roughly £8 per night no matter how many of you there are. The campsite has to pay council tax so in a way, you will be contributing to it, but it has minimised how much you pay. Certainly a hell of a lot less than the £1000 or so you pay already.
9. Stamp Duty. You have to pay this when you buy or sell a house, as well as stocks and shares. You probably don’t have any stocks and shares so no worries there. When you sell your house, just make sure it’s under a certain value, so flog it for the value of the mortgage and any legal fees. Yes you probably will lose the equity, but if you want to avoid paying the tax, you have to make sacrifices.
10. Insurance TAX. Charged at 5%, insurance tax comes with any form of insurance. But don’t worry, if you’ve eliminated all of the previous things we’ve discussed from your life, car/house, then you don’t have to pay for it. Life insurance? Pah! Why bother? If you die, just make sure none of your family members claim the body. That way they won’t need your crappy bog standard life insurance policy that will barely cover the costs of your funeral. No-one claims the body, then the state foots the bill.
And there you have it. The simple way to avoid paying tax. Just cut out everything that you might enjoy in life, live like a pikey, be dirt poor and own nothing, and you can avoid paying the Government on average 60% of your income. Don’t like the idea of all this? Well there is an alternative.
Become so obscenely rich, that even though you can afford to pay the tax, a small payment of a few hundred thousand to a lawyer or accountant and you can cut your tax bill down to around 4% on all the above items.
The only setback to avoiding tax, is that society as we know it would shut down. The armed forces, the police, the NHS, social security, jobseekers allowance, MP’s (would we miss them), they’d all be gone as there would be no money in the treasury to pay for them. Which is exactly what has happened to the country. When big business avoids tax to maximise shareholder profits, less money goes into the country. It doesn’t filter down and get paid by the shareholders. Especially since most dividends paid by business have been a bit pathetic of late.
And when already rich individuals avoid tax, just cos they are greedy bastards, well they just need a slap back to reality.