UK's HMRC targets tax avoiders in consultation

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UK's HMRC targets tax avoiders in consultation

The UK's tax collection service HMRC has called on advisers to assist its clamp down on tax avoidance by taking part in a new consultation launched this week.

The consultation entitled: Tackling disguised remuneration tax avoidance, runs from 21 July 2020 to 15 September 2020 and seeks views on ways to tackle future use of disguised remuneration tax avoidance from interested parties and advisers.

HMRC said that it wants to make changes to the following anti-avoidance regimes:

  • Disclosure of Tax Avoidance Schemes (Dota);
  • Promoters of Tax Avoidance Schemes (Potas);
  • Penalties for Enablers of Defeated Tax Avoidance;
  • General Anti Abuse Rule (Gaar); and
  • Disclosure of Avoidance Schemes: VAT and other indirect taxes (Dasvoit).

It has asked for views from members of the public, representative bodies, advisers and promoters, as well as businesses and individuals who may have received marketing material, taken advice about, or used arrangements which seek to avoid tax.

Tax advisers

"Many tax advisers adhere to high professional standards and are a very useful source of advice and support to taxpayers," the HMRC statement said, highlighting that the changes proposed in the document are not aimed at such professionals."

The changes proposed by HMRC were first announced in December 2019 and in the 2020 Budget the UK government said that these measures would be taken forward in the Finance Bill 20/21.

These proposals were also described in the ‘promoter strategy' published by HMRC in March 2020.

Further details can be found in HMRC's policy paper New proposals for tackling promoters and enablers of tax avoidance schemes.