HMRC reveals new GAAR guidance

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HMRC has finally published guidance on the General Anti-Abuse Rule (GAAR) which forms part of the government's ongoing attempt to tackle abusive avoidance.

The new guidance covers the scope and procedures for the rule, which comes into effect when the Finance Bill 2013 becomes law in July. Details of the GAAR have been hammered out in recent months by an independent advisory panel that included campaigners, lawyers, accountants and business representatives.

According to the guidance, the GAAR will apply to tax arrangements which are “abusive” and defined as “any arrangement which, viewed objectively, has the obtaining of a tax advantage as its main purpose or one of its main purposes”

It applies to...

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This isn't April 1st...

....the GAAR will apply to tax arrangements which are “abusive” and defined as “any arrangement which, viewed objectively, has the obtaining of a tax advantage as its main purpose or one of its main purposes” 

and while at first glance it is amusing, the reality of such a dogs breakfast isn't amusing.

Even for HMRC, objectively analysing often vague subjective facts (if they're available) is daft and a recipe for furether confusion and avoidance/evasion. I am keen to learn what an independently minded Judge will think of this legislation.

I don't understand how vague rules bring clarity. It has HMRC written all over it.

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ISA

What's to stop HMRC using the rules to declare your ISA savings taxable? 

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