HMRC has told employers using tax avoidance schemes involving "contracts for difference" to pay tax they owe to avoid legal action.
HMRC said that a number of tax-avoidance schemes, based on contracts for difference, are being used by some businesses to provide tax free or tax reduced rewards to their employees. One of the schemes is known as the "Growth Securities Ownership Plan".
Under these schemes each employee acquires a contract for difference which entitles the employee to receive a cash payment at a pre-determined date provided a pre-determined hurdle is achieved (often referred to as the “upside”).
The schemes vary in their detail, and the hurdle can be linked to company performance or other measures such as the disposal of the c...