HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) scored its fifth victory against schemes promoted by Matthew Jenner and his firm, bringing the total tax protected to more than £750 million. Recent defeats for the promoters include ‘Working Wheels’, where participants claimed to be second-hand car dealers.
The ‘Bluebox’ scheme involved a purported £500,000 gift to a charity. The charity was used as a way of channelling the money tax free to the participant’s Jersey trust, with virtually no benefit to charity.
A First-tier Tribunal has rejected the claim for £200,000 of tax relief, protecting £21 million.
Sixty participants are now expected to pay the taxes due. Three individuals already paid £24 million in tax prior to the hearing.
Financial Secretary to the Treasury Nicky Morgan said:
The government has provided charitable tax reliefs to encourage people to give to charities. We will not tolerate abuse of these incentives for the purposes of tax avoidance.
While the vast majority of people pay the taxes they owe, this victory shows HMRC’s determination and effectiveness in clamping down on those who seek to avoid their responsibilities. This was another scheme that wasn’t worth investing in and, as well as the fees investors will have paid to the promoters, they will now have to pay the tax owed as well as interest.
HMRC has a dedicated helpline - 03000 530435 - for those who have engaged in tax avoidance schemes but now want to settle their affairs. Further information can also be found on the HMRC website.