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HMRC wins £143m tax battle against ‘serial avoidance promoter’


A tax advice firm has lost its tenth battle with HM Revenue & Customs over its promotion of tax avoidance schemes.

The Court of Appeal found that London-based NT Advisors had constructed a series of circular payments with no commercial purpose specifically designed to reduce tax for clients. The ruling will cost the 304 members in the scheme £143m in foregone tax relief.

The latest court decision takes the amount of tax HMRC has protected from NT Advisors’s schemes to £916m.

HMRC has described the firm as a “serial avoidance promoter”.

BDO tax dispute resolution partner Dawn Register says: “This is another big win for HMRC, which sends out a clear and strong message that promoters of aggressive tax avoidance schemes will be held accountable.

“A significant struggle for participants approached by HMRC will be sourcing the cash to repay some, or all of the original tax relief they receive.

“Withdrawing from these schemes before April 2017 is crucial, or participants will face being labelled as a serial avoider and those that fail to do so could be subject to HMRC’s new ‘naming and shaming’ laws with all the reputational risk and damage that ensues.”

HMRC is consulting on plans to penalise advisers who enable tax avoidance. Advisers who are deemed “enablers” may have to pay up to 100 per cent of the tax avoided or payments received for referrals to the scheme, but HMRC has also floated the idea of a cap on penalties. The consultation closes next month.

HMRC has used its powers to collect disputed tax upfront with so-called accelerated payments notices to collect £3bn from tax avoidance schemes in the last two years.



HMRC tribunal win protects £156m from tax avoidance scheme

HM Revenue & Customs has won a legal challenge to protect £156m in tax from a tax avoidance scheme set up for wealthy individuals to reduce their income tax. The scheme was devised by a firm called NT Advisors and sold by Dominion Fiduciary Services Group, which had 305 users. HMRC challenged the scheme at […]

Govt defines “high-risk” tax avoidance and predicts £240m windfall

Advisers offering tax planning products from “high risk” firms face huge fines if they fail to comply with new disclosure rules. In a Treasury consultation published this week, the Government proposes identifying “high-risk” promoters of tax avoidance schemes and fining those who do not comply with new transparency rules up to £1m as a penalty […]


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There is one comment at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. “HMRC has used its powers to collect disputed tax upfront with so-called accelerated payments notices to collect £3bn from tax avoidance schemes in the last two years.”
    So being as the Government discriminate against a minority of UK state pensioners because of where they live abroad by denying them their rightful pension increases which would cost in the region of £590 million, then they are quite able to do so with the cash from this tax avoidance scheme and pay for the pension uprating avoidance scheme. Touche’

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