Press release

Details of Avoidance Study Group set out

Details of Avoidance Study Group set out.

Graham Aaronson QC, today notified the Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury David Gauke, of the experts who will work on his study into a General Anti-Avoidance Rule (GAAR), and the areas they will cover.

This follows the Exchequer Secretary’s announcement in December that a study group would be set up to explore the case for a GAAR in the UK. This is part of the Government’s commitment to tackling tax avoidance and building sustainable defences to address long-standing avoidance risks.

Those working with Graham Aaronson in the committee are:

  • John Bartlett
  • Judith Freedman
  • Sir Launcelot Henderson
  • Lord Hoffmann
  • Howard Nowlan
  • John Tiley

Topics which the committee will look at include;

  • consideration of existing experience with GAARs and other anti avoidance principles in other jurisdictions;
  • what a UK GAAR could usefully achieve; and
  • what the basic approach of a GAAR should be.

The study group will complete its work by the 31st October 2011 and will report its conclusions to the Exchequer Secretary.

The Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury, David Gauke, said:

We are committed to tackling tax avoidance. I’m delighted that Graham Aaronson and his study group will be bringing their collective expertise to bear on whether a General Anti Avoidance Rule could deter and counter tax avoidance, whilst providing certainty, retaining a tax regime that is attractive to businesses, and minimising costs for businesses and HMRC.

I very much look forward to receiving his conclusions later this year.

Notes for Editors

  1. The committee, which will be chaired by Graham Aaronson, will comprise:

    • John Bartlett (Group Head of Tax, BP Plc)
    • Judith Freedman (Professor of Taxation Law and Director of Legal Research, Centre for Business Taxation, Oxford University)
    • Sir Launcelot Henderson (Judge of the Chancery Division of the High Court of Justice)
    • Lord Hoffmann (formerly Lord of Appeal, Judge of the Court of Final Appeal of Hong Kong)
    • Howard Nowlan (formerly Tax Partner at Slaughter and May, part time Judge of the First Tier Tax Tribunal)
    • John Tiley CBE (Emeritus Professor of the Law of Taxation, Director of the Centre for Tax Law, Cambridge University)
  2. Summary of the study programme which the committee will explore (PDF 82KB)

  3. The study was originally announced on 6 December 2010 in Treasury press notice 68/10.

  4. The study will consider whether a GAAR could deter and counter tax avoidance, whilst providing certainty, retaining a tax regime that is attractive to business, and minimising costs for businesses and HMRC. The Government is committed to predictability and stability for the UK tax system, and would not introduce a GAAR without further formal public consultation.

Non-media enquiries should be addressed to the Treasury Correspondence and Enquiry Unit on
020 7270 4558 or by e-mail to public.enquiries@hm-treasury.gov.uk

Media enquiries should be addressed to the Treasury Press Office on 020 7270 5238.

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