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Nigel Farage is a (failed) tax minimiser – so what?

Tom Winnifrith
Friday 21 June 2013

It emerges today that Nigel Farage the leader of UIKIP set up an Isle of Man Trust to try to reduce his tax bill. As it happens he never used it back in 2003 and it seems to have cost him a few quid. Farage is being panned as a tax dodger, albeit of the failed variety. Wrong.

Farage was using a perfectly legitimate avenue to minimise his tax bill. He is a minimiser not a dodger. Other folks use ISAs as a perfectly legal way to reduce the tax they pay.  They too are minimisers not dodgers. There is no moral code that says you have to pay as much tax as possible. It seems perfectly legitimate to me to pay as little as possible without breaking the law. And that is all that Farage tried to do.

That he cocked it up and so in fact did not use the Trust is irrelevant. From a PR perspective this is clearly not helpful but Farage should be honest and say that the reason folks use IOM Trusts, ISAs etc. is that UK tax is so high. If it was less onerous then the whole industry of tax minimisation would die at once.

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About Tom Winnifrith
Tom Winnifrith is the editor of When he is not harvesting olives in Greece, he is (planning to) raise goats in Wales.
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