Alternative Approaches to Tax Risk and Tax Avoidance: analysis of a face-to-face corporate survey
This paper analyzes the results of a survey of views of large businesses regarding recent UK Government initiatives aimed at modifying taxpayer behaviour and tackling what is perceived by the tax authorities acting on behalf of Government to be unacceptable/aggressive tax avoidance. Specifically, it examines the views of tax directors obtained from face-to-face interviews conducted in spring 2008 with representatives of 30 corporate groups regarding alternative approaches to tax risk and tax avoidance. The paper first describes the experiences and opinions of large business representatives with respect to the Risk Rating Approach, a key feature of the HMRC links with large business programme (Varney Programme), as well as the status of relationships between HMRC and large business more generally. It next considers the respondents’ views on the practical implications of two developing legislative approaches – targeted anti-avoidance rules (TAARs) and principles-based legislation (PBL) – and how these approaches impact upon and are influenced by relationships between HMRC and large businesses.
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