From Mr Andrew Roberts.
Sir, Tax evasion is illegal, tax avoidance is not. It is extremely difficult to decide at what point avoidance becomes immoral.
Investing in an individual savings account (Isa), which is approved by government legislation, is avoiding tax, as is investing in an enterprise investment scheme. By selling part of an investment on April 4 and the rest on April 6, capital gains tax may be avoided. The UK tax system is ludicrously complicated, patently ridiculous sometimes and often unfair. This leads to a feeling that if it can be avoided it is sensible to do so.
It is up to HM Revenue & Customs to challenge artificial devices to save tax, but I suggest that it is impossible to say where the “morally indefensible” line sits and simplification of the tax system would make accountants pursue lines of business more beneficial to the community.
Andrew Roberts, Macclesfield, Cheshire, UK