HM Revenue and Customs has published a list of tax avoidance schemes which may be subject to demands to pay tax within 90 days.
When the 2014 Finance Bill is given Royal Assent this month, HMRC will begin issuing “accelerated payment notices” to tens of thousands of individuals in a bid to seize £7bn in disputed tax.
The notices can be issued to anyone who has used an avoidance scheme into which HMRC has an open inquiry.
Today HMRC has published a list of 1,172 schemes to which the notices may apply. It says this is to help users of avoidance schemes and their advisers prepare for the payment notices.
HMRC will begin issuing notices from August and will send them over a period of 20 months.
The list contains scheme reference numbers rather than scheme names, as taxpayers must use SRNs to identify their use of an avoidance scheme when completing their self-assessment return.
Treasury financial secretary David Gauke says: “Accelerated payments will tackle the small minority of taxpayers who are currently able to put off paying tax, sometimes for several years. This will put them on the same footing as the majority of taxpayers who pay their tax up front.”
Previously, if HMRC ordered an individual to pay tax which it believes had been unfairly claimed in tax relief, the individual could appeal the decision through a tribunal and would not have to pay until HMRC won through the courts.
Under the payment notices regime, an individual can still appeal a decision through a tribunal but must pay the tax upfront and will only be refunded, with interest, if they win.
Experts have warned the Revenue’s new powers could trigger a wave of misselling complaints against advisers.