The Essay Instructions from the Lecturer:
In the test you will be required to answer a compulsory essay question. This is a pre-seen question which is shown below. You will be expected to undertake independent reading and research in preparation for answering this question (a few sources are identified below, to get you started).
“It is important to distinguish between tax avoidance and tax evasion. There is nothing wrong with tax avoidance. Government action to restrict tax avoidance, including the proposed General Anti-Abuse Rule, cannot therefore be justified. Moreover, there are more effective ways to reduce the tax gap”. Critically discuss this statement.
-All essays need to contain personal interpretation and critical discussion. Essays that contain only description will not pass. There is no "right" or "wrong" answer. What matters is the quality of your discussion and analysis.
-You are expected to refer to, and engage with, the views of others to support your discussion. The essay is not, however, a test of who can cite the most sources. What matters is the way in which you refer to, and engage with, the work of others to support your analysis.
-You have an hour to answer the essay question. It is important that you know how much you can write in an hour. It is recommended that you practise writing an essay under timed conditions. Only then will you know how much you can write: you need to know this in order to structure your answer. In previous years it is obvious that some students spent too long (i.e., more than an hour) answering the essay question to the detriment of the numerical question. Both questions are worth 50 marks. You should, therefore, spend an hour on each.
-There is no "right" or "wrong" structure. However, as discussed in the tutorials, there may be a more appropriate structure (e.g., one that enables you to answer the question without undue repetition whilst demonstrating all of the key qualities required).
-Whilst the question's focus is with the United Kingdom, insights from other jurisdictions may aid your discussion and analysis.
-Do not feel obliged to refer to material from the theory part of the module just because it has been taught. You will need to make a judgment as to what it is relevant to include in your essay.
some reading to get you started ( I'll send them all to the winner)
1-HMRC Issue Briefing, Tackling tax avoidance, September 2012: see here (pdf).
2-GAAR consultation: see here.
3-GAAR background information: see here.
4-ICAEW helpsheet for members on aggressive tax avoidance scheme: see here (pdf).
4-House of Commons Library Standard Note A General Anti-Avoidance Rule: see here.
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