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HMRC wins action against gilt tax avoidance scheme

A tax avoidance scheme known as Project Corbiere has failed in its third bid for legitimacy, saving UK tax revenues of around £100m.

The scheme was promoted by NT Advisers and involved transferring UK government bonds back and forth to the British Virgin Islands, creating an unwarranted tax deduction.

The scheme had already been ruled against by the first tier and Upper Tribunal of the HMRC and the final appeal for legitimacy was rejected by the Court of Appeal, who ruled that it had been specifically designed to avoid tax.

Around £20m in outstanding tax bills has been settled by eighteen wealthy individuals who first used the scheme in 2005.

Had this latest appeal been successful, it is understood the UK could have lost up to £80m in tax revenue.

Exchequer secretary to the Treasury David Gauke says: “This is an important win for HMRC and is the latest in a string of successes. It is excellent news for the vast majority of taxpayers who play by the rules.

“Many users of the scheme have already accepted the inevitable and settled up with HMRC and those who haven’t should do so quickly.”

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