On 16 August, HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) released a consultation document which outlines proposals to further extend its penalty powers when dealing with what it perceives as unacceptable tax avoidance.
The news comes at a time when the difference between legitimate tax planning and unacceptable tax avoidance is becoming increasingly unclear.
The proposals target what HMRC are calling “enablers of tax avoidance,” in seeking to impose penalties on every member of the supply chain that benefits financially from the sale of a tax avoidance scheme which subsequently fails.
This will affect the scheme administrator, through intermediaries and sales personnel, and finally the tax adviser of the individual – greatly increasing the risk to any organisation or individual that promotes tax avoidance schemes at any level.
In a statement, Jane Ellison, financial secretary to the Treasury, said: “People who peddle tax avoidance schemes deny the country of vital tax revenue and this Government is determined to make sure they pay.
“The vast majority of their schemes don’t work and can land their users in Court facing large tax bills and other costs”.
At Wilson Wright we are unaffected by these changes. We have never promoted tax avoidance schemes. Our tax planning is developed in-house by our team of Chartered Tax Advisers providing clients with the highest quality of tax advice based upon, and specific to, our clients’ individual circumstances.
If you have any concerns regarding these proposals please do not hesitate to contact any partner or member of our tax team.
HMRC’s consultation, entitled Strengthening tax avoidance sanctions and deterrents: discussion document, can be accessed via the following link: https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/strengthening-tax-avoidance-sanctions-and-deterrents-discussion-document
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