HMRC is clamping down on the promoters and enablers of tax avoidance schemes in an effort to stop situations like the loan charge happening in the future.
Speaking at a Treasury select committee evidence session on October 22, Penny Ciniewicz, HMRC’s director general of customer compliance, said the department was “doubling the resources” it had involved in tackling those in the 'avoidance supply chain'.
This includes companies and people ranging from the designers of schemes to accountants and financial advisers who recommend the schemes to their clients.
Ms Ciniewicz said:
“We have more than 100 current investigations into promoters [and enablers] and we’re keeping a very close eye on the market for avoidance.Avoidance is legal, evasion is illegal.
We are spotting schemes as they emerge and we’re tackling them.”
The issue with the loan charge scheme is that it was deemed to be illegal, and then HMRC went after people who had used it before it was deemed illegal (ie there is a retrospective element to this).
Tax does have to be taxing.
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