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HMRC rejects nearly 400 schemes in pensions liberation crackdown

HM Revenue & Customs has rejected applications from a total of 362 pension schemes over concerns about pensions liberation. 

The figure, published in a recent pensions newsletter from HMRC, represents 8 per cent of 4,530 scheme applications that have been rejected since October 2013.

A further 4 per cent of applications are still being reviewed.

A spokesman for HMRC says: “The changes to our process are part of a Government-wide initiative involving HMRC and other agencies aiming to detect, disrupt and deter promoters of pension liberation schemes and to ensure that individuals are aware of the true tax position. 

“The vast majority of pension funds abide by their legal obligations but we won’t hesitate to de-register a pension scheme where rules are not adhered to.

“We will apply and enforce all tax charges against both the promoters of pension liberation schemes and pension savers.”

As part of this year’s package of pension reforms announced in the Budget, HMRC was given increased powers to clamp down on pension liberation fraud.

These changes include a provision that “HMRC may refuse to register a scheme, or de-register an existing scheme if, in HMRC’s opinion, the scheme administrator is not a fit and proper person.”

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