Friday, July 19, 2024

Re: Panama Papers palaver

Abimbola Adelakun

I read  Abimbola Adelakun article on Thursday entitled, Panama Papers palaver  and what jolted me was the writer’s assertion that tax avoidance was tantamount to “cheating the system”.

To further rub in the narrative of cheating, the word “corruption” was repeatedly used to describe the usage of tax havens for the purpose of tax planning.

My worry is that there are millions of readers who rely on the writer to learn the basics of taxation and financial matters and to deliberately criminalise tax planning is unkind, unhelpful and perhaps, with due respect, misinforming the reading public.

The writer is entitled to her opinion on tax havens but she is not entitled to twist the fact. While for instance, I can state that I do not like sugar, which is my opinion, but I cannot say that sugar is bitter because that sugar is sweet is a fact which cannot be twisted by my dislike for sugar.

Tax havens are legitimate tax planning instruments. As long as no financial, criminal or tax laws are breached,  they are perfectly legitimate. Tax avoidance is not tax evasion. While we can all have our opinions on the morality issues tax havens throw up, it is important we do not substitute our opinions for facts.

Tunde Esan,

legal practitioner/tax consultant,

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Author: Red

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