"Oddly enough, there was a time when Britain had no patience with corporate tax avoiders. David Williams, of KPMG’s tax business school, says that legal tax cases during the second world war showed a marked shift in the attitude of the courts. "There was a feeling there where everybody pulled together," Williams said. "It was the last time society and the state really were seen as virtually the same thing. To reduce your tax payment in that sort of circumstance would have been seen as an enormously irresponsible thing to do." Nowadays, however, it is rare for big business to see the payment of taxes as an explicit social duty..."
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Source: Tax Gap Blog - Guardian U.K.