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Informed Choice Radio Personal Finance Podcast

Mar 29, 2017

My guest on the podcast today is Dr James Hannam.

James writes about the politics and policy decisions behind tax and economics. He’s particularly interested in the reasons the UK tax system works the way it does and the possible consequences of Brexit.

He's the author of the new book What Everyone Needs to Know about Tax.

His book takes an entertaining and informative look at the UK tax system in all its glory to show you just how much you pay, how the money is collected and how it affects ordinary people every day.

Giving context to recent controversies including the Panama Papers, tax avoidance by multinationals, Brexit and more, this book provides a straightforward explanation of tax and the policy behind it for non-specialists — no accounting or legal knowledge is required.

James has been a tax accountant for 20 years and currently works for a ‘Big 4’ accountancy firm in London.

In addition to his tax writing and consultancy, James is also the author of God’s Philosophers: How the Medieval World Laid the Foundations of Modern Science, which was shortlisted for the Royal Society Science Book Prize.

In this episode of Informed Choice Radio, I speak to James about whether taxpayers tend to focus on particular types of taxes, if the wealthy have a different set of rules when it comes to taxation, the golden rules of tax we all need to know about, how the government could reduce levels of tax avoidance, and much more.

Welcome to What Everyone Needs To Know About Tax with Dr James Hannam, in episode 193 of Informed Choice Radio.

Some questions I ask:

-Do you think that as tax payers we tend to focus on one type of tax more than the other?

-You mentioned about a third of national income goes to taxes, is this really a case of tax payers taking the time to understand each time they make a payment or each time they receive an income what amount is going away to taxation?

-Do you think the perception the wealth pay less tax is justified and is there really one set of rules for them and another for the rest of us?

-How much of an issue do you think tax avoidance has become and is that the result of the complexity of the UK tax code or is it because people with larger estates and more wealth simply have more motivation to structure their affairs to avoid tax?

-What do you think the best approach for the government would be to reduce tax avoidance?

-Will we eventually see a single structure of tax for each different type of employment?

-Can you tell our listeners about your three golden rules and why they're so important for tax payers to understand?

-Do you have a favourite tax and do you have a least favourite type of tax?

-Are there any taxes from history that are particularly interesting?


Thank you for listening!

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