Tax avoidance

HMRC provides tools to help you spot signs of tax avoidance

HMRC continues to highlight that it is cracking down on tax avoidance and provides tools that can help you to spot the signs.

HMRC is seeing a number of avoidance schemes and arrangements being marketed to individuals and businesses as legitimate tax planning. 

This can give potential users the false reassurance that HMRC will not challenge their use of the scheme.

Such schemes are often marketed as wealth management products or dressed up as exciting investment opportunities.

The warning is:

'Please encourage them [businesses] to look at the following pages of which contain HMRC’s latest information on tax avoidance, set out in simple and straightforward terms. 

Employer obligations

HMRC has also highlighted the following:

'There is a new obligation on employers to report to HMRC information about employees where the employer has implemented a DOTAS disclosed tax avoidance scheme which benefits either their employees or themselves and is related to the employment of those employees.

The employer must submit details about each employee in relation to whose employment the scheme operates by 19 April following the end of the tax year.

The new requirement relates to tax year 2015/16 onwards irrespective of when the scheme was first entered into.'

Obviously the final point regarding employer disclosure is something that HMRC will be highlighting. Most employers are not engaged in tax avoidance and will not need to be concerned.

HMRC guidance on disclosure of tax avoidance schemes (DOTAS) is available.