Richard Murphy has argued that tax avoidance isn’t legal because it exists in a grey area between laws. He claims that ‘There is no simple black and white dividing line between legal and illegal. There is a massive grey area between the two where no one can be sure whether things are right or wrong, legal or illegal, permitted or unacceptable.’ And more tellingly ‘no one can be sure that tax avoidance is legal, because by definition it has not been permitted by law,’
Murphy is making a fundamental error here. By saying something must be permitted by law he is making the claim that things are legal only because the Government says they are. He is wrong. Things are illegal only because the Government says they are. The difference? One starts of with the idea that everything is illegal and the Government graciously lets us do things. The other begins with the idea that everything is legal and the Government forces us not to do things. Positive vs Negative rights, the belief we are born in chains vs the belief we are born free.
There is no such thing as a ‘grey area’ things are either illegal or legal. If the Government hasn’t expressedly told us it is illegal then it is legal. When a new invention is made the Government doesn’t have to pass laws to allow us to use them, everything is naturally legal until the State decides otherwise.
If the Government has ruled that something is actively illegal then it is legal. We do not need permission from the state to enjoy our freedoms