2023-01-19 18:25:15

The Guardian view on the tax system: losing trust, missing out on billions

Logo The Guardian
The Guardian
By Editorial

Leona Helmsleys greatest wrongdoing was ultimately not her vast tax fraud but to be overheard by her housekeeper declaring: Only the little people pay taxes. Rather than the millions she owed the state, the New York property billionaires belief that the tax system is merely a glorified tip jar, strictly for mugs, made her infamous in the Reagan years. Of all the affairs of democratic government, only taxes and voting rest so firmly on the principle that all subjects are equal before the law. However unsatisfactory the idea that what GP services, schools, bin collections you get depend on where you live, postcode lottery is now an everyday term but taxation and representation should never be arbitrary.

Which is why Rishi Sunak is sailing in dangerous waters. At this weeks prime minister questions he was tackled by Labours Alex Sobel about the reports that the chairman of the Tory party, Nadhim Zahawi, was forced to pay millions to Her Majestys Revenue and Customs [HMRC] to settle a tax dispute. The prime minister responded that his colleague had already addressed this matter in full, but he was wrong. Mr Zahawi is an able communicator, yet on this he has been unforthcoming, not denying the reports about capital gains tax incurred by the sale of a 20m stake in YouGov by a family trust, only saying his taxes are properly declared and paid in the UK.

Continue read on theguardian.com

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