Exploitation of obscure loopholes

In his latest column (County Times July 12), Philip Circus was correct to point out that excessive tax rates can be counter-productive in terms of raising revenue.

However, in trying to equate ordinary tax concessions such as ISA or pension contribution relief with the tax avoidance measures of the rich and famous, he is very wide of the mark.

The provision of ISA and pension contribution tax reliefs are specific measures aimed at encouraging savings, and are the intended outcome of legislation.

This is in stark contrast to the exploitation by expensive accountants and tax lawyers of obscure legal loopholes to enable the extraction of tax concessions that are unintended consequences of legislation.

To use a sporting analogy, it is the difference between playing by the rules, and resorting to gamesmanship that borders on cheating.

What is technically legal is not necessarily ethical.

Perhaps one should not be surprised if a lawyer and politician does not recognise that distinction.

Dr RICHARD NEVILLE

Durfold Road, Horsham