Historical and case law perspective on tax avoidance

Authored by: Jane Frecknall-Hughes

The Routledge Companion to Tax Avoidance Research

Print publication date:  October  2017
Online publication date:  October  2017

Print ISBN: 9781138941342
eBook ISBN: 9781315673745
Adobe ISBN:


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Ways of not paying tax have a long history, and various activities/devices have been employed. However, the extent to which they constituted acceptable means of not paying tax has been debated even from early times.The mid to late nineteenth century and the early twentieth century appear to have been crucial periods in developing, in Great Britain, the distinction between evasion as illegal activity and avoidance as legal. This emerges from prior research undertaken on settlements, examination of minutes of government committees set up in the nineteenth century to examine tax issues and review of case law and periodicals.

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