Would you use a tax avoidance scheme?
Following revelations that comedian Jimmy Carr used an offshore company to slash his tax bill, we want to know your thoughts on the morals of legal tax avoidance.
Comedian Jimmy Carr has issued an apology after it was revealed his earnings were being paid via an offshore tax avoidance scheme.
An investigation by the Times newspaper revealed that Carr’s income was put through a Jersey-based company, K2, which then paid him in the form of tax-free loans.
Prime Minister David Cameron waded into the row, saying it was “morally wrong”.
In a series of tweets, Carr wrote: "I met with a financial advisor and he said to me: "Do you want to pay less tax? It's totally legal." I said: "Yes." I now realise I've made a terrible error of judgement."
HMRC says the K2 scheme is now under investigation.
There are separate allegations that three members of Take That – Gary Barlow, Howard Donald and Mark Owen – invested millions of pounds in a music industry scheme that helped them avoid paying tax.
There have also been stories about several groups of senior civil servants and consultants being paid via private companies, rather than through the Government payroll. Some have been accused of using this method to lower their tax bill.
But, if you could, would you use a legal tax avoidance scheme to lower your tax bill? Or do you think it's morally wrong? Vote in our poll below.
In March, Chancellor George Osborne called “aggressive” tax avoidance “morally repugnant” and announced the Government would be introducing a rule to stop it.
However, some tax experts doubt whether this will have the desired effect. One unnamed tax avoidance tax expert told the Times: "It’s a game of cat and mouse. The revenue closes one scheme, we find a way round it."