Laws to counter tax avoidance and evasion have become a Budget tradition for at least the past five years and yesterday's annual summary of government plans for tax and spending was no exception. The most interesting and probably controversial measures were an extension to HMRC's powers to settle tax disputes.
Here's a summary of the main anti-avoidance measures:
Taxpayers in a dispute with HMRC will have to pay the money up front without the right of appeal if the scheme is registered with the Disclosure of Tax Avoidance Schemes or if a similar one has been defeated in the courts.
Taxpayers will have to settle the dispute within 90 days after HMRC sends them a “follower notice” – or a further 30 days if they appeal.
Currently, even if HMRC closes an avoidance scheme through litigation, there is little incentive for other scheme users, or those using essentially similar arrangements, to accept the court’s findings and pay any underpaid tax, HMRC said.
The revised law for settling tax disputes was first announced in last year’s Budget. HMRC estimates it will raise £340m in tax receipts in 2014-15 and £1.23bn in 2015-16.
The Chartered Institute of Taxation said...