Posts Tagged ‘society’

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Wouldn’t it be nice…

September 14, 2012

…if we treated our paralympians and other fellow citizens with disabilities or terminal illnesses the way we treat our tax avoiders?  I’ve just written a long post, below, in response to a consultation about the General Anti-Avoidance Rule Notion.  I just wanted to pick out one small aspect of that suggestion, the proposed definition of abuse.

Tax arrangements are “abusive” if they are arrangements the entering into or carrying out of which cannot reasonably be regarded as a reasonable course of action, having regard to all the circumstances…

This is called the double reasonableness concept: it’s not enough that the action is reasonable, it also has to be reasonable to regard it as reasonable.

Wouldn’t that be a great way of re-testing disabled people to make sure they’re still entitled to disability benefits?  Say something like

Disability assessments are “abusive” if they lead to an action such as the removal of benefits which cannot reasonably regarded as a reasonable course of action, having regard to all the circumstances…

Just a thought.  (but the consultation on the tax GARN closes today.  You’ve still got time to drop them a line at study.gaar@hmrc.gsi.gov.uk suggesting they pass on their double reasonableness test to the DWP…)