HM Revenue & Customs will not pursue investigations into transfers from a registered pension scheme to a scheme included on its Qrops list before 24 September 2008, unless there is evidence of dishonesty.
HMRC says the guidence relates to a small number of transfers which took place where the scheme was not a Qrops at the time and follows a recent court case.
The Government department says that before 24 September 2008 the Qrops list did not contain a caveat explaining the purpose of the list and “might have given the impression that HMRC was satisfied that any scheme that had been included on the list was a Qrops.” Since that date a caveat has made clear that inclusion in the list does not mean the scheme has been verified by HMRC.
HMRC said it will not investigate transfers to schemes “purporting to be a Qrops” provided that:
- the transfer to the scheme took place before 24 September 2008;
- the scheme was included on the list as a Qrops when the transfer took place (or at a time reasonably proximate to the transfer); and
- the scheme was not a Qrops.
However, HMRC says it could still investigate transfers which took place before 24 September 2008 “where there is evidence relating to the transfer of dishonesty, abuse, artificiality or any similar circumstances”.
It says: “For example, cases that disclose fraudulent activity in which members collude in respect of relevant transfers; where there is falsification of documents or information; or where there appear to be artificial or misleading transactions used to facilitate the transfer.
“In these kinds of cases we are likely to raise assessments even where the transfer took place before 24 September 2008.”