Dealing with HMRC – guidance

Tax avoidance: General Anti-Abuse Rule

The General Anti-Abuse Rule (GAAR) tells you which tax arrangements are abusive under the legislation.


GAAR guidance with effect from 30 January 2015 : Part E

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The GAAR is part of the Government’s approach to managing the risk of tax avoidance. It has been introduced to strengthen HM Revenue and Customs’ (HMRC’s) anti-avoidance strategy and help HMRC tackle abusive avoidance. The GAAR legislation defines what are, for its purposes, tax arrangements that are abusive.

But just because something isn’t covered by the GAAR doesn’t mean it won’t be tackled in another way. HMRC will continue to tackle tax avoidance using existing anti avoidance methods as well as the GAAR, where appropriate.

The GAAR applies to the following taxes from 17 July 2013:

  • Income Tax
  • Corporation Tax (including amounts chargeable or treated as Corporation Tax)
  • Capital Gains Tax
  • Inheritance Tax
  • Petroleum Revenue Tax
  • Stamp Duty Land Tax
  • Annual Tax on Enveloped Dwellings

The GAAR applies to National Insurance contributions from March 2014.

An independent Advisory Panel has been set up to give opinions on specific cases and approve HMRC’s GAAR guidance. The Advisory Panel has provided guidance to HMRC and taxpayers on procedures for referred cases.

Previous versions of the GAAR guidance

Previous versions of the GAAR guidance and notes on amendments to previous versions are available.

More information about the GAAR

Read the GAAR legislation in Part 5 and Schedule 43 of the Finance Act 2013 and Section 10 of National Insurance contributions Act 2014:

If you have any further comments about the GAAR, you can email: