TAX: Avoid tax avoidance schemes – like EBT’s

With tax evasion (illegal) and avoidance (legal) costing a predicted £80 billion this year you can see the reason for concern. Research shows that over half is due to trading in the shadow economy but the rest has been allocated as tax avoidance (almost 20 billion) and unpaid tax debt (over 18 billion).

Heavy penalties for tax avoidance

The government has vowed to tackle the tax fraud problem with heavily penalising tax abuse. The GAAR (General Anti Abuse Regulations) is currently not enough to deter, as those who are “caught” do not receive a penalty, only instruction to pay the tax they owed. This is due to change though as new legislation will soon come into force with up to 100% penalties on top of the avoided tax.

HMRC’s increasing powers on tax avoidance schemes

Almost exactly a year ago, we wrote in detail about tax avoidance. Read more here. At the time, legislation was underway regarding the “promotion” of tax avoidance schemes, which is now fully operational. This, along with the HMRC’s new “accelerated payment powers”, where tax can be in fact requested up front whilst investigations into the tax scheme take place, means the government really are moving into the driving seat. Read more about HMRC’s accelerated payment powers here.

EBT’s – you have until 31 March 2015 to settle!

In 2011, HMRC issued notice that those with EBT’s who wish to “settle” could do so under reasonable terms, without litigation. This was known as the EBT Settlement Opportunity (EBTSO). However, this offer will now close on 31 March 2015, giving just a few months to come forward. Over 700 tax-payers have taken advantage of these terms already but that is still a small proportion of those who have some kind of EBT arrangement. To find out more about effective long-term, robust and compliant tax saving techniques contact our specialist dental and medical tax advisors on: T: 020 7376 9333 E:

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