Andrew Tyrie, chair of the Treasury select committee, is not happy with how HMRC treats film investors and has written a letter to the Chancellor about it.
The FT reports that Tyrie said that “very severe financial distress” had been inflicted by the crackdown on schemes exploiting film industry tax breaks:
“If a tax avoidance scheme is found by the courts to be illegal, then investors in the scheme have no option but to repay the tax that they have avoided.However, fear not, HMRC says that everything is fair:
But HMRC needs to treat people fairly, including investors in what are now considered to be tax avoidance schemes, and to be transparent and timely in their approach....
This sorry story is a clear example of how tax reliefs aimed at achieving a specific policy objective — in this case to boost the UK film industry — can result in unacceptable complexity in the tax system providing scope for confusion and also some abuse. The result is that for many years HMRC have been involved in a long-running legal battle against avoidance schemes."
“We have worked hard to tackle abuse in the system on behalf of the vast majority of investors who play by the rules, ensuring they are enforced fairly and with sensitivity.”Nothing to see here!
Tax does have to be taxing.
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