Guardian runs adverts from tax avoidance expertsPosted on September 9, 2011
The Guardian’s view on tax avoidance by others is well known – they regularly and deliberately conflate tax evasion (a crime) and tax avoidance (not a crime), and take the position that everyone should go out of their way to pay as much tax as possible. Regardless of how whether you pay what the law demands, the Guardian will be the final and ultimate arbiters of whether you pay your “fair share”.
However, their own affairs are less than consistent with the high standards they demand of others – as Guido has documented in the case of Polly “you should pay more tax, but why should I?” Toynbee, and their own record of careful tax avoidance through offshoring and other mechanisms.
Not content with hectoring others whilst practicing tax avoidance themselves, the Guardian has now taken things a step further – profiting by running advertising for firms of specialists who offer advice to tax avoiders and even how to deal with an HMRC tax investigation. This is a screengrab of their “Reading the Riots” web page – take a look at the ad circled in red at the bottom right:
Appleton Richardson, the advertisers in question, describe their service as “tipping the scales of justice in your favour”, will help you learn “how to play the game” and offer help to “survive a tax investigation by HMRC”. They absolutely rightly say that tax avoidance is perfectly legal, but in Guardian land it is unacceptable – how do the champions of high taxes square taking advertising from a firm like this with their crusading morals? Or is it just yet another case of Guardian double standards?
PS you’ll note that with further delicious irony the other two adverts are for Personal Injury Lawyers and, yes, a Scientology magazine. The Guardian: where Comment Is Free, but principles can be bought.