Tax avoidance schemes currently in the spotlight

Tax avoidance schemes that HMRC believes are being used to avoid paying tax due.

This guidance includes some of the schemes that HMRC has:

  • identified as having the features of tax avoidance
  • started investigating

If you use an avoidance scheme, HMRC will:

  • open an enquiry into your tax affairs
  • seek full payment of any tax due, plus interest
  • charge penalties where appropriate

Together with HMRC’s guidance on what tax avoidance is, it aims to warn you against using tax avoidance schemes.

Spotlight 40 onwards

  1. Disguised remuneration: schemes claiming to avoid the loan charge (Spotlight 49)
  2. Disguised remuneration: contractor loans settlements and obtaining a deed of release (Spotlight 48)
  3. Attempts to avoid an Income Tax charge when a company is wound up (Spotlight 47)
  4. Rewarding employees and contractors using contrived loan arrangements (Spotlight 46)
  5. Umbrella companies offering to increase your take home pay (Spotlight 45)
  6. Disguised remuneration: schemes affected by the loan charge (Spotlight 44)
  7. Stamp Duty Land Tax avoidance: misleading advertising (Spotlight 43)
  8. Contractor loan schemes: misleading advertising (Spotlight 42)
  9. Disguised remuneration: a Supreme Court decision (Spotlight 41)
  10. Disguised remuneration trust schemes: misleading advertising (Spotlight 40)

Spotlights 30 to 39

  1. Disguised remuneration: re-describing loans (Spotlight 39)
  2. VAT: supply splitting tax avoidance schemes (Spotlight 38)
  3. Disguised remuneration: job board avoidance scheme (Spotlight 37)
  4. Disguised remuneration: schemes claiming to avoid the new loan charge (Spotlight 36)
  5. Disguised remuneration: tax avoidance using annuities (Spotlight 35)
  6. Capital Gains Tax: Entrepreneurs’ Relief tax avoidance scheme (Spotlight 34)
  7. Contractor tax: loan schemes can cost you more (Spotlight 33)
  8. Managed service company legislation (Spotlight 32)
  9. Transitional relief on investment growth: withdrawal date changed (Spotlight 31)
  10. Gold bullion schemes (Spotlight 30)

Spotlights 20 to 29

‘Contractor loan schemes - too good to be true (Spotlight 26)’ has been withdrawn and is now part of Contractor tax: loan schemes can cost you more (Spotlight 33).

  1. Misleading claims from tax avoidance scheme promoters (Spotlight 29)
  2. Employee Bonus Schemes: Growth Securities Ownership Plan tax avoidance and similar schemes (Spotlight 28)
  3. Interest Relief avoidance schemes (Spotlight 27)
  4. Stamp Duty Land Tax avoidance: no human rights breach in avoidance challenge (Spotlight 25)
  5. Employment Allowance avoidance scheme: contrived arrangements caught by existing rules (Spotlight 24)
  6. Employee bonuses: tax avoidance scheme involving Restricted Securities (Spotlight 23)
  7. VAT contrived schemes used to obtain exemptions for sporting or educational training/supplies (Spotlight 22)
  8. Business Premises Renovation Allowances schemes (Spotlight 21)
  9. Gift Aid with no real gift (Spotlight 20)

Spotlights 10 to 19

Spotlights 1 to 9

  1. Gift Aid with no real gift (Spotlight 9)
  2. Investments to obtain trade loss reliefs - 'sideways loss relief' (Spotlight 8)
  3. Avoidance using Gift Aid (Spotlight 7)
  4. Employer-Financed Retirement Benefits Scheme (Spotlight 6)
  5. PAYE and National Insurance contributions, Corporation Tax and Inheritance Tax: using trusts and similar entities to reward employees (Spotlight 5)
  6. Contrived employment liabilities and losses (Spotlight 4)
  7. Pensions schemes: artificial surplus (Spotlight 3)
  8. VAT: artificial leasing (Spotlight 2)
  9. Goodwill: companies acquiring other businesses, carried on prior to 1 April 2002 by a related party (Spotlight 1)
Published 27 January 2014
Last updated 30 July 2018 + show all updates
  1. Disguised remuneration: schemes affected by the loan charge (Spotlight 44) has been added to the collection.
  2. Spotlight 38 has been added to show HMRC's stance on VAT supply splitting.
  3. New Spotlights 35 and 36 added.
  4. Added link to new guidance on contractor loans schemes.
  5. Spotlight 26: Contractor loan schemes - too good to be true added.
  6. First published.