The fellas pulling the housing "scam" are probably doing it semi-legitimately, when you think of what people pay tax advisors for. The Jimmy Carrs of this world are doing it legally,totally above board, when they pay for tax advice on how to avoid tax. Nothing stopping the ordinary lad doing the same. When a taxi man or a farmer or a builder goes to his accountant once a year with a sack of receipts and the accountant says, "how much do you want to earn this year?", which figure turns out to be exactly a pound below the appropriate tax rate.