Tax Scams Are So Archaic…


6 September 2019

By Marc Dorsett

Tax scams are so archaic…

Taxes have been around a very long time, probably before written records were kept. In the UK, for example, income tax was brought in by William Pitt the Younger in 1798 but there was a window tax from 1707 (yes, the more windows you had the more tax you paid) and an export tax on wool in 1203 (before the UK was formed). According to a quick search online the earliest known tax was implemented over 4,500 years ago in Mesopotamia (roughly the region now known as Iraq and parts of Syria, Iran and Turkey).

As long as there has been tax to pay there have been people that don't want to pay it. Some of these people resort to a scam of some description. Whether it be a modern day tax avoidance scheme that artificially creates losses or a simpler scam for a simpler time like the one in this article on the Guardian website. The article refers to a tax scam from the time of King Harold II and his replacement William the Conqueror around 1,000 years ago. The scammer essentially created a double-headed coin, a "mule" coin, which reflected the coins of each king depending on how you displayed it. Apparently it was easier to fool people if they couldn't read and the designs were similar.

Tax is important.
Without it, the World wouldn't function and we'd have no public services.

However, no one likes paying tax and it is important to pay the correct amount. The correct amount in this case is the amount stipulated by law, basically the minimum amount of tax that is legally due. It's easy to overpay tax by not taking advice early or by assuming you know what the rules are – or by listening to your mate at the golf club who "knows" the rules.

Mistakes can be costly and deliberate acts of avoidance or evasion especially so, sometimes with jail time for the very worst cases.

If you want to organise your tax affairs in the most tax efficient and legal manner why not speak to the Private Client department at Gepp Solicitors. We can help you with all sorts of tax planning from estate taxes to SDLT mitigation on a property purchase. If you would like to speak to someone about how we can help please contact Marc Dorsett on 01245 228146 or via e-mail.