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The Pandora Papers show the line between tax avoidance and tax evasion has become so blurred we need to act against both

By Alex Simpson, Senior Lecturer in Criminology, Macquarie University
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What’s the difference between tax avoidance and tax evasion?

The difference used to matter. Evasion was illegal. It meant not paying tax that was due. Avoidance meant arranging your affairs so tax wasn’t due.

Australian media mogul Kerry Packer used the distinction as a complete defence when he told a parliamentary committee in 1991 he was

not evading tax in any way, shape or form. Of course, I am minimising my tax. Anybody in this country who does not minimise his tax wants his head…


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