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Resorting to an argument about the morals of tax planning highlights the flaws in the current system, says Mike Fleming

26 June 2012

Moral judgments about tax have been flying around the media like a virus. David Cameron’s condemnation of Jimmy Carr’s tax arrangements as “morally wrong” made headlines.

Carr’s public apology, after withdrawing from the avoidance scheme in question, added to the moral overtone. Further moral judgments were made following Cameron’s refusal to comment on Gary Barlow’s tax affairs, with speculations surrounding Barlow’s relationship with the Conservative party and his recently awarded OBE.

Code of conduct

Never has the relationship between an individual’s tax code and moral code been more widely conflated. Moral pronouncements of ‘right and wrong’ sit uneasily within an objective system. Clearly we should all pay a correct share of tax but this needs to be achieved through the in...

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