A report that tax officials are discussing the possibility of penalising tax advisers who help clients avoid tax has been dismissed by HM Revenue and Customs as "pure speculation".
The Financial Times reported today (10 June) that officials are monitoring penalty regimes used in the US and elsewhere, where "advisers involved in flagrant tax abuses can be hit with huge penalties".
Some HMRC officials would like to see stiff penalties, the paper reported, quoting one official as saying: "A question that needs to be asked is whether tax avoidance is a risk-free game in the UK."
But an HMRC spokesman told TaxZone that any changes to legislation "would be a matter for Ministers to consider".
The FT said the interest shown by HMRC in penalties for tax advisers "reflects frustration that some tax pro...