It is accepted that taxpayers do not have to arrange their tax affairs in such a way that they pay the maximum possible tax. People are fully entitled to structure their tax affairs in a tax efficient manner. However there is a difference between claiming the benefits of a relief, exemption or allowance in the way intended by the legislature, and unacceptable tax avoidance.
It is Revenue policy to actively challenge tax avoidance schemes and unintended use of the legislation which threaten tax yields and the fairness of the tax system. Most tax avoidance schemes simply do not work. If you engage in a tax avoidance scheme you may end up paying more tax than you originally attempted to save once Revenue has successfully challenged the scheme. This is in addition to the costs involved in dealing with Revenue's enquiries, and potentially lengthy litigation.
The purpose of this section is to:
- make you aware of the consequences of engaging in tax avoidance
- encourage you to review your tax and duty affairs regularly
- encourage you to seek advice from a reputable tax advisor if you are unsure about a transaction
- encourage you to quantify and report any irregularities to Revenue.
Next: What is tax avoidance?