Tax Evasion v Avoidance and the Ethics


‘Every man is entitled if he can to order his affairs so that the tax attaching thereto is less than it otherwise would be’.

This now somewhat infamous dictum of Lord Tomlin’s in the 1935 House of Lords’ decision in the Duke of Westminster’s case has, ever since, been the mantra of the UK tax avoidance industry.

The theory is that you can do whatever you want as far as reducing your tax bill is concerned as long as what you do is not dishonest or specifically prohibited by law and thereby strays over the line into tax evasion, rather than avoidance.

How does the Westminster principle — if it can be called such — stand up to 21st century concepts of business ethics and such modern notions as Corporate Social Responsibility?

To understand more click through to the referenced paper here ISFP: A Philosophy for Business