GENERAL ANTI-AVOIDANCE RULES: EXPLORING THE BALANCE BETWEEN THE TAXPAYER’S NEED FOR CERTAINTY AND THE GOVERNMENT’S NEED TO PREVENT TAX AVOIDANCE
By Chris Atkinson
The Aaronson report released in the United Kingdom in late 2011 addressed the need for a general anti-avoidance rule to be introduced into that jurisdiction’s tax legislation. In considering the design of such a rule, the need to maintain certainty from the perspective of the taxpayer was given paramount importance. This paper draws upon the experiences with a general anti-avoidance rule in Australia, New Zealand and Canada, highlighting the uncertainty that such a rule has historically introduced into a nation’s tax system.