Taxation logo taxation mission text

Since 1927 the leading authority on tax law, practice and administration

Other side of the coin

17 January 2012 / John Watson
Issue: 4337 / Categories: Comment & Analysis , GAAR , Admin
JOHN WATSON suggests simpler tax legislation might dispense with the need for a general anti-avoidance rule


  • The Aaronson report concentrates on abuse rather than avoidance.
  • Are the suggested tests of avoidance too complicated?
  • Is the real problem that tax legislation is not fit for purpose?
  • Could the OTS make real progress to simplify tax legislation?
  • The Newfields case and HMRC’s discretion.

As a general rule the more elegant the prose in which a document is expressed the more carefully one should think about the author’s conclusions.

That rule alone indicates that one should read Graham Aaronson’s report on the general anti-avoidance rule (GAAR) study with special care.

The language is immaculate and the logic is seductive. The only safe route is to get into a hot bath after reading it to think through Aaronson’s conclusions.

So as the water turns cold and...

If you or your firm subscribes to, please click the login box below:

If you are not a subscriber but are a registered user or have a free trial, please enter your details in the following boxes:

Alternatively, you can register free of charge to read a limited amount of subscriber content per month.
Once you have registered, you will receive an email directing you back to read this item in full.

Please reach out to customer services at +44 (0) 330 161 1234 or '' for further assistance.

back to top icon