More tax avoidance schemes subject to stop notices

HMRC sets out details for promoters of tax avoidance schemes and disguised remuneration schemes

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On 13 April 2023 HMRC published the details of six more tax avoidance schemes that are subject to a stop notice on GOV.UK. Details published include stop notices 6 to 11.

Earlier, on 11 April 2023, HMRC issued a briefing updating the latest information to help individuals settle their disguised remuneration liabilities on the use and/or paying the loan charge, including an update to the reference year used for determining automatic eligibility to pay by instalments.

Stop notices

Stop notices are one of the ways in which HMRC tackle tax avoidance and those responsible for promoting it.

The main aim of issuing stop notices is to reduce the number of tax avoidance schemes that are being marketed. This makes it harder for people to get caught up in them.

When HMRC issues a stop notice to a promoter, it means:

  • The promoter who receives the notice must stop selling the specified scheme.
  • The promoter who receives the notice must also pass a copy of it to certain associated persons, who are also subject to the stop notice and must also stop selling the specified scheme.
  • All those persons subject to the notice must inform HMRC of all the people they have promoted the scheme to and any they continue to promote it to.
  • The persons subject to the stop notice must inform all clients and intermediaries that they are subject to a stop notice, what this means, and provide them with a copy of the stop notice.

If a promoter fails to comply with a stop notice they can face penalties of up to £100,000 which can increase to up to £1m in certain circumstances.