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Glasgow
+44 (0)141 221 2984

Edinburgh
+44 (0)131 225 6366

Stirling
+44 (0)1786 451745

Dumbarton
+44 (0)1389 765238

Hamilton
+44 (0)1698 459444

French Duncan

HMRC consults on 'serial' avoidance penalties

12 February 2015

The consultation, which is titled ‘Strengthening Sanctions for Tax Avoidance’, proposes additional financial costs such as a surcharge for repeated use of schemes that fail, and additional reporting requirements on users of multiple schemes that fail.

The government has certainly focused on tax avoidance, making changes to the tax legislation on 42 occasions since June 2010 to deter tax avoidance. Such changes included the introduction of:

•    accelerated payment notices (APNs);
•    follower notices;
•    expanded DOTAS regulations;
•    the promoters of tax avoidance schemes (POTAS) regime; and
•    the general anti-abuse rule (the GAAR).

This latest consultation suggests increasing the penalties associated with ‘serial tax avoidance’ and introducing a specific GAAR-related penalty. It also plans to allow the publication of the names of serial tax-avoiders who have repeatedly used tax schemes that fail, in a similar manner to the publication of details of deliberate defaulters.

Straighforward tax planning is, of course, perfectly legal and as always, we are here to advise you if you need our help. If you do have any queries you can contact us by email.