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NCJ Number: 134979 Find in a Library
Title: Whiter Than White Collar Crime: Tax, Fraud Insurance and the Management of Stigma
Journal: British Journal of Sociology  Volume:42  Issue:3  Dated:(September 1991)  Pages:323-344
Author(s): D McBarnet
Date Published: 1991
Page Count: 21
Sponsoring Agency: British Economic and Social Research Council
Grant Number: E0625033; R000231235
Type: Survey
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United Kingdom
Annotation: This British study analyzes some of the methods used to construct immunity from both legal control and the deviant label in the avoidance of tax payments.
Abstract: In the exploration of techniques of legal tax avoidance, this study interviewed 105 accountants, city solicitors, barristers, judges, merchant bankers, insurers, Inland Revenue officers, tax consultants, and tax scheme promoters. The study first distinguishes between tax evasion and tax avoidance. Tax evasion involves intentional concealment of transactions subject to tax law. Tax avoidance consists of the disclosure of all transactions covered in tax law along with interpretations of the law that exempt portions of income from taxation. In the case of complex financial transactions, the minimal disclosure required to justify tax avoidance can be sufficient to preclude a charge of tax evasion should the justification for tax avoidance be found flawed by the tax authorities or the courts. Tax payments may subsequently be required after negotiation, but no criminal charges will be filed. Shopping to find an attorney's opinion favorable to tax avoidance in a transaction can also protect against a charge of tax evasion. The fact that a legal opinion was sought suggests that the tax payer was attempting to do what the law requires. So long as the taxpayer gives the appearance of seeking lawful tax avoidance, there is little chance that such avoidance will be criminalized if the tax authorities investigate and find the rationale for avoidance to be in error. 61 notes
Main Term(s): Tax evasion
Index Term(s): Crime in foreign countries; White collar crime
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