Clamping down on Promoters of Tax Avoidance

21 Apr 2021

HMRC issued a consultation document on 23 March 2021 'Clamping down on promoters of tax avoidance see Clamping down on promoters of tax avoidance - GOV.UK building on the package of measures to tackle promoters that was consulted on last year and which are in the current Finance (No 2) Bill.

The proposals being consulted on in the latest consultation are intended to enable HMRC to: 

  • Tackle promoters who dissipate or hide their assets, by ensuring HMRC can protect its position and secure a promoter’s assets to pay any relevant penalties;   
  • Tackle offshore promoters through the UK entities that support them by charging the onshore entities who are associated with, and who facilitate the promoter’s activities, penalties linked to their involvement in the offshore promoter’s business;   
  • Disrupt the business activities of companies involved in promoting or enabling tax avoidance by closing them down where it has been shown they are not operating in the public interest, and disqualifying the directors at the earliest point possible;   
  • Support taxpayers to steer clear of tax avoidance schemes, or get out of tax avoidance quickly, by providing more information on the promoters and their schemes, so they can make informed decisions.

The proposals are aimed at the small number of promoters who refuse to cooperate and take every opportunity to side-step the rules so that they can continue to sell their schemes. HMRC recognise in the consultation document that many tax advisers adhere to high professional standards and are an important source of support for taxpayers.

With this in mind, HMRC have said that they are very grateful for our help and input into last year’s consultation. HMRC want to work with stakeholders, and in particular tax advisers, as part of this latest consultation to ensure that the proposals are effective, proportionate and appropriately targeted.

If you have any comments, please send them to technical@ciot.org.uk by 17 May 2021.