Category: HMRC

HMRC empowered to name and shame tax evasion ‘enablers’

Treasury says individuals or corporations who take deliberate action to help others evade paying tax face steep fines. Tax advisers, accountants and lawyers who aid the super-rich with offshore tax evasion will face tough new penalties from New Year’s Day, with HMRC now able to publicly name and shame “enablers”…. – Continue reading

Putting an end to corporate tax controversy

Controversy over giant corporations paying dwarfed tax bills has put finance chiefs in the media and public spotlight When giant companies with devilishly complex tax arrangements are accused of unethical behaviour, the stock response is “we act within the rules”. If the public and politicians don’t like it, the argument… – Continue reading


Draft legislation for the public sector IR35 reforms was published yesterday and several firms have responded concernedly to the publication of the documents. IR35 legislation reforms were proposed recently during the Autumn Statement. Julia Kermode, chief executive of The Freelancer & Contractor Services Association, commented on the publication of the… – Continue reading

UK Unveils Tough New Tax Avoidance Penalties

New laws to punish those who help set up offshore schemes to enable tax evasion were revealed Monday, as the U.K. government cranks up the heat on advisers and planners. Britain’s government has widened the Finance Bill 2017 to include further measures that will tackle tax evasion, avoidance and aggressive… – Continue reading

Transfer Pricing Behind Jump In UK Tax In Dispute

The amount of tax potentially underpaid by big businesses by shifting profits to other jurisdictions has increased by 60 percent in the last year, to GBP3.8bn (USD4.8bn), according to figures obtained by international law firm Pinsent Masons. The figure is the “tax under consideration” by HMRC’s Large Business Directorate, being… – Continue reading

HMRC ‘puts people on notice’ with duty to correct tax return

Advisers will need to inform clients of new changes to offshore tax disclosure as the government introduces a new legal requirement to correct past failures, experts warn. As part of the Autumn Statement today, the Government said it would put in place a new legal “requirement to correct” a past… – Continue reading

Film industry tax avoiders face multi-million pound bill

Investors in a financing scheme aimed at helping the UK film industry are being asked to repay “multiple millions of pounds” following a court ruling. HMRC is pursuing investors in the Eclipse scheme, including celebrities, financiers and sports stars, for up to 20 times their original investment. Courts ruled that… – Continue reading

SNP MP warns that tax office cuts will lead to an increase in the gap between the rich and poor

TAX office closures will lead to a surge in the gap between rich and the poor and an increase in tax avoidance as well as people not being paid the minimum wage, the UK Government has been warned. Under controversial HMRC plans 18 Scottish offices, including major centres in Dundee,… – Continue reading

Labour and unions demand action on temp agencies’ tax avoidance

Opposition vows to shut down scheme that uses ‘contrived’ financial arrangements to slash national insurance bills Labour and trade unions have called on the government to take action after a Guardian investigation found that an aggressive tax avoidance scheme used by temporary recruitment agencies is depriving the taxpayer of “hundreds… – Continue reading

Update To UK Code Of Conduct For Tax Professionals

The leading UK accountancy and tax bodies in the UK have released updated guidance on the standards expected of tax advisers and agents. The seven organizations – the Chartered Institute of Taxation, the Association of Taxation Technicians, the Association of Accounting Technicians, the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants, the Institute… – Continue reading

HMRC clarifies effect of Common Reporting Standard on charities

In guidance provided to the Association of Charitable Foundations, it says charitable grant-makers will not have to carry out due diligence on bodies they fund Incorporated charitable grant-makers will not be required by the new Common Reporting Standard to carry out due diligence on organisations they fund, according to the… – Continue reading

McDonald’s UK pays £123m in royalties to Luxembourg

The British arm of McDonald’s paid £123m for “franchise rights” last year, as part of a controversial structure that is under investigation for enabling unfair tax avoidance. The European Commission launched a probe last year into whether Luxembourg’s tax arrangements for McDonald’s amounted to illegal state aid, as part of… – Continue reading

100 Financial Centres Start Swapping Tax Data

Expats who have money or assets outside Britain can expect to start receiving letters from the UK tax man soon. Hundreds of thousands of letters are being drafted for expats who have returned to the country after spells abroad and for expats considered UK taxpayers who have had overseas assignments…. – Continue reading

HMRC adds category on penalties for offshore matters

A category has been added to HMRC’s factsheet on higher penalties for offshore matters, with the added section providing information on less extreme penalties given for territories that exchange information with the tax authority automatically Penalties for category 1 territories have been added showing them to be less extreme than… – Continue reading

Taxation on corporate debt rules out for consultation

Revised rules affecting the way corporate debt and derivative contracts are taxed have now been drafted and are out for a brief consultation, in a bid to avoid double taxation and curb potential abuse HMRC has issued draft legislation for consultation following amendments to the Change of Accounting Practice Regulations… – Continue reading

UK aid programme “failing to tackle tax avoidance and evasion”

A report by the Independent Commission for Aid Impact (ICAI) has criticised the Department for International Development’s (DfiD) approach to tackling tax avoidance and its alleged failure to achieve value for money on HMRC collaboration DfiD has failed in its efforts to fully include developing countries so that they benefit… – Continue reading

Singapore and the UK sign agreement to exchange financial account information

Singapore’s tax authority has signed another agreement to fight tax evasion. The Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS) and the British tax authority, Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) have agreed to share financial account information. In a statement from IRAS today (September 16), it said that the agreement is… – Continue reading

Wales to switch to Land Transaction Tax

Wales is to replace stamp duty with a land transaction tax as it moves towards devolved tax collection. The new tax on land transactions will be introduced from April 2018 alongside measures to tackle devolved tax avoidance, the Welsh government said. Land transaction tax is paid on the purchase or… – Continue reading

UK bill to open details on multinational tax avoidance

A legislative amendment in the UK this week will give the British government the power to publish details of tax payments made by UK-based multinational corporations on a country by country basis, as tax authorities try to clamp down on the abuse of tax laws and aggressive tax avoidance. The… – Continue reading

Panama Papers: Denmark buys leaked data to use in tax evasion inquiries

Denmark pays up to £1m for documents from anonymous source and plans to investigate up to 600 Danes who may have evaded tax Denmark has become the first country in the world to apparently buy data from the Panama Papers leak, and now plans to investigate whether 500-600 Danes who… – Continue reading

Worldwide Disclosure Facility for offshore tax evasion launched

A NEW online disclosure facility has launched today giving offshore evaders a last chance to settle tax on their wealth hidden offshore ahead of new data sharing arrangements and tougher penalties being introduced. The Worldwide Disclosure Facility (WDF) is the final chance for those few still dragging their feet to… – Continue reading

Guilty by association

All involved in tax avoidance schemes will be penalised HMRC has recently published a consultation document, ‘Strengthening Tax Avoidance Sanctions and Deterrents: A discussion document’ which proposes sanctions aimed at everyone involved in the birth of tax avoidance schemes which are defeated by HMRC. This follows the government’s announcement at… – Continue reading

The U.K.’s Proposed Interest Restriction Rule—Too Much Too Soon?

The U.K. government has been consulting on a proposed “Interest Restriction” rule which will limit the amount of interest expense U.K. companies will be allowed to offset against their income for tax purposes (to 30% of their taxable earnings before interest, tax and amortization). The second consultation phase on the… – Continue reading

‘Enabling’ tax avoidance – legislation must draw distinction between promoting avoidance and advising on the law

Commenting on today’s government consultation paper on ‘Strengthening Tax Avoidance Sanctions and Deterrents’, John Cullinane, Tax Policy Director of the Chartered Institute of Taxation, said: “This is the latest in a series of measures cracking down on those who profit from tax avoidance schemes. The Government need to be careful… – Continue reading

City firms could face 100pc fines for helping with tax avoidance

City firms that help businesses run tax avoidance schemes could face huge financial penalties under fresh Government proposals. Banks, accountancy firms and lawyers could be forced to hand over underpaid tax if they are found to have broken the law. Currently, advisers who facilitate tax avoidance by exploiting loopholes and… – Continue reading

HMRC claim it is winning the battle to crackdown on corporation tax

HMRC believe that that they have turned a corner in catching companies trying to avoid paying corporation tax after subjecting large businesses “to an exceptional level of scrutiny”. Data released following a Freedom of Information Act request by UHY Hacker Young showed 15 per cent decrease in the number of… – Continue reading

HMRC to ‘bear down’ on tax planning in updated vision

A CLAMPDOWN on tax planning, a transformation of its services for taxpayers and delivering a professional, efficient and engaged organisation are the three key objectives for HMRC in its updated single departmental plan. The government department has outlined its main visions and objectives for the period between 2015 and 2020,… – Continue reading

Bank of Ireland loses £27m tax avoidance case in UK

Bank of Ireland has lost a £27m (€34.2m) tax avoidance case in the UK after an attempt to exploit a loophole that did not exist. HM Revenue and Customs challenged the attempt to avoid corporation tax by Bank of Ireland through a subsidiary, the former building society Bristol and West,… – Continue reading

Post-Panama: Why your AEOI frameworks must now be automated, auditable and adaptable

Hot off the heels of the Panamanian documents leak, 5 EU countries announced last month that they have agreed to exchange beneficial ownership information. France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK will now automatically exchange information on the ultimate beneficial owners of companies and trusts. These 5 EU countries are… – Continue reading

UK Consults On Anti-VAT Avoidance Measures

The UK Government has launched a consultation on plans to make the disclosure of value-added tax avoidance schemes (VADR) system more closely resemble the Disclosure of Tax Avoidance Schemes (DOTAS) regime. According to the consultation, “VADR should be more closely aligned with DOTAS to provide early information on new avoidance… – Continue reading

France Hits McDonald’s With $341 Million Tax Demand : Possibly Unfairly

The French taxman, Le Fisc, has apparently decided to send McDonald’s MCD -0.24% France a tax bill for €300 million ($341 million). It’s not entirely obvious that this is a correct demand: nor, in fact, necessarily a legal one. If there were no European Union and no rules about the… – Continue reading

HMRC launches consultation on new tax evasion offence

The Revenue has published its consultation on proposing to make companies criminally liable for failing to prevent their staff facilitating tax evasion The offence was first proposed in the 2015 Budget and was expected to come into effect in 2020. The Panama papers leak and subsequent scandal has put significant… – Continue reading

HMRC complicite in tax avoidance with ‘Tax Haven based landlords’

HMRC complicite in tax avoidance scheme after it emerged it rents its own office from tax haven based company A day on, the world is still reeling from the revelations of the Panama Papers leak, the full repercussions of which are yet to be felt. Eleven million documents leaked from… – Continue reading

Proposed Article 26: Swiss tax authorities bound to exchange information

The proposed Article 26 (exchange of information) of the convention on Avoidance of Double Taxation, being renegotiated between Pakistan and Switzerland, would bound the Swiss tax authorities to exchange all requested information, including confidential bank account information of Pakistanis maintaining Swiss accounts. Sources told Business Recorder here on Tuesday that… – Continue reading

Tax avoidance review: HMRC should focus on the cause, not the symptom

HMRC and the Treasury should spend more effort on supporting compliant taxpayers with more considered tax policy and functioning tax legislation, and less on punishing those who have exploited loopholes that they helped create. According to the most recently released figures from HMRC, the taxman has now retrieved more than… – Continue reading

Google And The UK Tax System – Tax Avoidance?

For several years now Google has been facing what appears to be a case of tax avoidance in the UK, at some point in time, the company went as far saying it did not make any money from business in the UK all in a desperate attempt to pay less… – Continue reading

Is HMRC redefining tax avoidance to exclude the likes of Google, Facebook and Amazon?

HMRC has put out an extraordinary publication about tax avoidance in which it seems to suggest, contrary to its messaging and policies thus far, that if a structure works, it is not tax avoidance, says Jolyon Maugham QC, specialist tax barrister at Devereux Chambers The publication in question, a ‘policy… – Continue reading

“Relentless in pursuit of tax evasion and avoidance”: HMRC sets out plan to 2020

In its departmental plan for 2015-2020 published last month, HMRC set out it’s role “to help the honest majority to get their tax right and make it hard for the dishonest minority to cheat the system”. One of the headline objectives for this period is: “maximise revenues due and bear… – Continue reading

France seeking €1.6 billion in Google back taxes

France is seeking €1.6 billion in back taxes from Google, criticised for its use of aggressive tax optimisation techniques, a source at the finance ministry has said. “As far as our country is concerned, back taxes concerning this company amount to €1.6bn,” the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity,… – Continue reading

Clampdown on tax avoidance

“We are clear. We will not stand for a minority of taxpayers continuing to seek out unacceptable ways to reduce the amount of tax they pay, and we will ensure HMRC has the tools to robustly tackle such activity.” So said David Gauke, Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury. A clampdown… – Continue reading

Tony Wickenden: What the Finance Bill 2016 means for tax avoidance

In this final instalment considering the draft clauses from the Finance Bill 2016 most relevant to financial planners, I am going to turn my attention to the ever-popular subject of tax avoidance and evasion. Every Budget and Finance Bill has plenty to say on this subject. As in the previous… – Continue reading

Cayman Islands: Getting Up To Date On FATCA – A Recap And Update

What is FATCA? FATCA refers to US legislation more fully known as the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act and includes the US Treasury regulations implementing it. It was enacted as part of the Hiring Incentives to Restore Employment Act of 2010 (otherwise known as the, “HIRE Act”) on 18 March… – Continue reading

Google tells Parliament it won’t pay ‘Google Tax’ in U.K.

Google’s top global tax executive told U.K. lawmakers that a new U.K. tax provision dubbed “the Google Tax” will not actually apply to the U.S. technology giant. The law, officially the Diverted Profits Tax, was introduced last year amid concerns that Google parent Alphabet Inc. and other global tech companies… – Continue reading