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Labour MP proposes tougher anti-tax avoidance rules

A Labour MP has branded Government plans to introduce a general anti-abuse rule on taxation as “unacceptably narrow” and has proposed a tougher general anti-tax avoidance principle.

The Government is planning to introduce the GAAR next year with a focus on direct taxes such as corporation, income and capital gains.

Speaking in the House of Commons last week, Oldham West and Royton MP Michael Meacher tabled a private members bill calling for a tougher general anti-avoidance rule covering more areas of taxation such as VAT and National Insurance contributions

He says the Governments’s plans are “unlikely to cover any more than the most egregious and extreme cases of tax abuse”.

He says: “Indeed, that is indirectly confirmed by the Government’s economic impact assessment in its consultation document, which states – extraordinarily – that the GAAR will have almost no measurable impact.”

Chartered Institute of Taxation tax policy director John Whiting says: “One of the big challenges is to bring in a GAAR that does not create a lot of uncertainty and put business off. It is one of the fears with a much wider rule.”

Last month, the Government promised it would be “proportionate and limited” and would only act retrospectively in “exceptional cases” as it did over Barclays’ £500m scheme in February.

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There are 2 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. Great – but why didnt he suggest this at any point during Labours 13 years in Government?

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