HMRC clamp down on Tax Schemes

hmrc-logoThe tax landscape for users of packaged tax schemes has dramatically changed for the worse.

HMRC has recently introduced the Accelerated Payment Regime that allows them to issue notices requiring payment of the disputed tax within 30 days.  This regime also applies to schemes in place before this change in the rules.

Previously, the taxpayer could delay paying the disputed tax until they lost the dispute either in courts or by agreement. HMRC can now force taxpayers to pay the disputed tax upfront.   Taxpayers then have to wait until they win the dispute with HMRC for the tax to be repaid, which can take years.

Any company or individual who has used a scheme that is similar to one defeated in court or that was notifiable to HMRC under the Disclosure of Tax Avoidance Schemes (DOTAS), which generally cover marketed, packaged tax schemes, is at risk of receiving an accelerated payment notice.

HMRC also want powers to directly access bank accounts to remove cash to cover disputed tax payments without the taxpayer’s permission.

HMRC announced they will start sending notices regarding accelerated payments from October 1st and many taxpayers have already received a notice. If you or one of your contacts has already received a notice to pay or might potentially be exposed to an accelerated payment notice, we will be happy to help. Please contact our tax team on 01491 579740 or via email.