This paper discusses a new channel model and code design for the reader-to-tag channel in near-field passive radio frequency identification (RFID) systems using inductive coupling as a power transfer mechanism. If the receiver resynchronizes its internal clock each time a bit is detected, the bit-shift channel used previously in the literature to model the reader-to-tag channel needs to be modified. In particular, we propose a discretized Gaussian shift channel as a new channel model in this scenario. We introduce the concept of quantifiable error avoidance, which is much simpler than error correction. The capacity is computed numerically, and we also design some new simple codes for error avoidance on this channel model based on insights gained from the capacity calculations. Finally, some simulation results are presented to compare the proposed codes to the Manchester code and two previously proposed codes for the bit-shift channel model.