David Gauke, Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury, this morning used a speech at Policy Exchange to announce a consultation on:
“proposals to crack down further on those that seek to push abusive tax avoidance schemes and make it easier for taxpayers to identify such schemes when they are on the end of a hard sell by a dodgy promoter”.
On what avoidance is
The Exchequer gave the following examples:
“…artificial structures that aggressively exploit reliefs contrary to parliament’s intended purpose through contrived, artificial schemes fall very clearly into the definition of avoidance.
Buying a house for personal use through a corporate entity to avoid SDLT is avoidance.
Channelling money backwards and forwards through complex networks for no commercial reason but to minimise tax is avoidance.
Paying loans in lieu of salaries through shell companies is avoidance.
And using artificial ‘losses’ deliberately accrued to claim back tax is avoidance.”
The Exchequer Secretary outlined key parts of the consultation:
“Today we consult on ways to improve the information available to the public on avoidance. Publishing warnings for all to see, and making it easier for taxpayers to see if their adviser has promoted failed avoidance schemes in the past.
…one of the major parts of our consultation looks at how we can make people aware where a company has previously peddled schemes that have been successfully challenged – so that they know there is a strong chance that no good will come of it.
And we are also consulting on how we strengthen our disclosure regime, looking at how the descriptions of schemes covered might be reformed to ensure we capture more, and that we can crack down on those who flout the rules..”
The consultation document will be added here when published by HM Treasury.