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United Kingdom: HMRC consults on legislation for promoters of tax avoidance schemes

Thursday, 09 October 2014   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Author: Robert Lee
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Author:  Robert Lee (

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) is consulting on draft regulations that will exclude two types of persons from the definition of "promoter" for the purposes of the Promoters of Tax Avoidance legislation.

The regulations are intended to meet concerns raised during the development of the primary legislation. They are relieving provisions and will have retrospective effect from July 17, 2014, the date Royal Assent was given to Finance Act 2014.

The regulations will exclude from the definition of "promoter" a company that provides in-house taxation services to companies in the same group and is not in any sense marketing tax avoidance schemes to the public. It will also exclude an adviser (such as a lawyer or accountant) who provides advice on a discrete point of law or accountancy but is not involved in the overall design of a tax avoidance scheme.

Under the Promoters of Tax Avoidance legislation, HMRC can impose fines of up to GBP1m (USD1.6m) on scheme promoters. Tax planning companies that are being monitored by HMRC must state that they are a provider of such schemes on their website, inform all present and prospective clients and issue them with a "promoter reference number." This number must then be used by the clients on their tax returns and any other material they send to HMRC. If an adviser fails to adhere to these rules, they can be fined.

The consultation closes on October 31.

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