9am Lowdown: HMRC tax avoidance crackdown nets £494m
Welcome to Wednesday’s 9am Lowdown.
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HMRC tax avoidance crackdown nets £494m
HMRC’s tax avoidance crackdown has generated an additional £494m worth of income tax in 2014 to 2015, according to law firm Pinsent Mason.
As reported in the FT Adviser, HMRC has intensified its tax avoidance investigations following media coverage of high profile celebrities using such schemes. HMRC are targeting actors, musicians, sports stars and comedians in this investigation.
Pinsent Masons’ tax director Paul Noble said: “Whilst these particular cases constitute a small proportion of the total sum of unpaid tax uncovered each year, they often provide a focal point of public interest - rendering them a real priority area for HMRC.”
“HMRC has been and continue to be granted huge new powers to help them close and clear the many thousands of open avoidance cases,” Mr Noble said.
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Insolvency service investigates BHS collapse
The Business secretary Sajid Javid has told the Insolvency Service to conduct an investigation into the collapse of BHS.
According to The Guardian, the investigation will scrutinise the role of the directors, such as Dominic Chappell of Retail Acquisitions, as well as their predecessors, led by Sir Philip Green. This follows yesterday’s news that Green has agreed to appear before the select committee after he sold the business for £1.
Commenting on the investigation, Javid said: “I have asked the Insolvency Service to bring forward its investigation rather than wait three months for the administrators to report before launching their inquiry ... Any issues of misconduct will be taken very seriously.”
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Leaving the EU could take years
The Lords EU committee has said that if Britain votes to leave the EU in the 23 June referendum, the withdrawal would mean “difficult and lengthy negotiations”.
According to the BBC, Lord Boswell, who chairs the committee, said that reviewing the international trade deals could take between four and nine years – and separating the UK from EU laws could take years.
“This is complex stuff — you are talking about rights to residence, to healthcare and to schooling, about maintenance payments and access to children, about research projects and contracts that cross borders. As we say in the report, sorting all this out would be a daunting task,” said Boswell.