Unsurprisingly the responses have not been reassuring. Andrew Jones' letter can be found below (click to enlarge all images throughout):
Mr Gauke's response is quite frankly disturbing. What is obvious from the response is that the Tories believe that the money "is the government's" - we have to prove otherwise. And we have to prove it with very much lower funds backing us should we have a dispute.
Never mind that tax avoidance is perfectly legal, and in large part a consequence of the 'wonderful' Single Market. Never mind that the lower limit of £1,000 of tax owed is a limit which is miniscule – thus it is clearly not a measure that is aimed at those deliberately evading large amounts of tax but normal people and small businesses.
But as a 'solution' we instead get confirmation that the Tories are attempting to turn the entire tax system on its head - "we're guilty unless we can prove otherwise"
Anyone who believes that their tax avoidance scheme works will still be able to pursue their claim in the courts. And, if they win, HMRC will repay the tax with interest. However, HMRC’s success in avoidance litigation shows that only a small minority of avoidance schemes are upheld in the courts. This means that it is fair that tax should sit with the Exchequer rather than the taxpayer during a dispute into tax avoidance.Gauke says: "it is fair...". Who says it's fair? Certainty not us the taxpayer. Has Gauke ever attempted to fight HMRC as a small business owner...? I guess not. And of course HMRC never makes mistakes.
Needless to say TBF senior is not letting this go - belligerent persistence runs in the family.