News story

Tax avoidance demands top £250m

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

HM Revenue and Customs has sent notices to tax avoidance scheme users to pay over £250 million of disputed tax under the Accelerated Payments regime introduced in this year’s Finance Act.

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The Financial Secretary to the Treasury, David Gauke, today told MPs scrutinising the National Insurance Contributions Bill that over 600 Accelerated Payment notices had been sent since late August.

Despite recipients having 90 days to pay the tax demanded in the notices, avoidance scheme users have already begun to contact HMRC and to arrange to make payments, covering over £25 million of disputed tax.

Many more users are also choosing to contact HMRC about settling their tax affairs rather than wait to receive an Accelerated Payment notice.

Financial Secretary to the Treasury David Gauke said:

Accelerated Payments are changing the economics of avoidance by removing the cash-flow advantage that avoidance scheme users have had until now. It is only fair that those who use avoidance schemes should have to pay their tax upfront, like the vast majority of other taxpayers who don’t try to shirk their responsibilities.

Jennie Granger, Director General of Enforcement and Compliance, HMRC, said:

HMRC is making good progress in tackling marketed avoidance as today’s figures illustrate. If anyone is concerned about being able to pay the notice they should contact us as soon as possible to discuss their options.

By January 2015, HMRC will be issuing 2,500 Accelerated Payment notices per month and it is on track to deliver notices to 43,000 tax avoidance scheme users, covering £7.1 billion of disputed tax, by the end of March 2016.

Published 21 October 2014