HMRC has warned firms promoting tax avoidance schemes could be fined up to £1m, the Financial Times reports.
HMRC has written to several firms it has identified as “high-risk promoters” following the inclusion of measures to stamp out tax avoidance in the latest Finance Bill.
Treasury minister David Gauke says the crackdown will “tackle the small minority of tax advisers who are persistently uncooperative and are not transparent in their dealings with HMRC”.
According to the FT, HMRC believes there are currently around 20 firms responsible for aggressive tax avoidance schemes. This year’s Finance Bill has given the Revenue powers to monitor certain firms.
If these firms breach specific conditions, they will be publicly identified and forced to hand over product and client information.
HMRC director-general of enforcement and compliance Jennie Granger says: “The new high-risk promoters rules are designed to encourage promoters to improve their behaviour. If they don’t change their ways, we’ll be able to apply to the tax tribunal to badge them as high-risk and so help steer the public away from engaging with them.”
The continued crackdown on tax avoidance has seen the number of new tax avoidance schemes reduced from 116 in 2009/10 to just 28 in 2013/14.