Share this content
HMRC targets tax scheme promoters
iStock_Back pocket cash_BigShot3D

HMRC targets tax scheme promoters


In the papers accompanying Rishi Sunak’s Budget speech, there were some rather vague comments about attacking promoters of tax avoidance schemes. Philip Fisher digs into the documentation to find out what is going to happen.

27th Mar 2020
Share this content

At the end of last week, HMRC published two policy documents: one that fleshes out the details of the proposed regime and the other a call for evidence on “raising standards in the tax advice market”. These are wide-ranging and potentially both harsh and controversial. We are also promised a call for evidence on tackling disguised remuneration.

According to Financial Secretary to the Treasury, Jesse Norman MP, “Tax avoidance schemes are no longer mainstream products, and their creation and promotion have moved to the more disreputable and shadier end of the market. That targeting has also changed, away from bespoke arrangements designed for the wealthy and towards mass-market schemes targeted at people on middle incomes, with more limited access to good advice.”

The latest initiative focuses on “tackling the promoters and enablers who have used every opportunity to get around tax disclosure rules, often leaving clients high and dry with large tax bills”.

Nowhere in the policy paper is an acknowledgement that tax avoidance remains legal, nor is it distinguished from tax evasion, which most certainly is not. Instead, it emphasises a desire to raise public confidence by ensuring that “those who pay tax will not be disadvantaged by those who do not”.

Register for free to continue reading

It’s 100% free and provides unlimited access to the latest accounting news, advice and insight every day. As well as access to this exclusive article, you can:

View all AccountingWEB content
Comment on articles
Watch our digital shows and more

Access content now

Already have an account?

Replies (2)

Please login or register to join the discussion.

By dgilmour51
30th Mar 2020 11:28

“Tax avoidance is bending the tax rules to gain a financial advantage never intended by Parliament, ...”
Its opinion, isn't it.
The only guide, until judges define otherwise, that the 'layman' has about the intention of Parliament is what is actually written.
HMRC will ALWAYS interpret stuff to the most utterly miserable detriment of the taxpayer.
How will any of us know how to interpret any statute if the basis is that what is written is not what Parliament intended?

Thanks (0)
By petestar1969
30th Mar 2020 11:48

Is the is the payoff for delaying the changes to the off-payroll working rules and IR35?

Whether it is or not, is long overdue. I have one client who go involved in a scheme he never should have and its a nightmare to deal with it.

Thanks (0)