Posted by James Pearson on 16 Jul 2014

Tax Avoidance Schemes: Accelerated Payment of Disputed Tax

HMRC have published a list of tax avoidance schemes that may be subject to the new accelerated payment rules. This means that HMRC may issue notices requiring users of schemes identified in this list to pay any disputed tax within 90 days, rather than once any investigation has been finalised as is currently the case.

The accelerated payment rules are designed to counter the current situation in which investigations into complex tax schemes can take years to reach a conclusion during which period the tax payer continues to have the benefit of the disputed tax saving. Rather than treating this as an incentive to deal with investigations more swiftly HMRC have instead elected that they should be the ones to benefit from the disputed tax during the period of investigation. Once the investigation has been finalised any overpayment of tax under the accelerated payment rules will be repaid to the tax payer. It seems unlikely that this will encourage HMRC to conclude investigations more swiftly.

Tax Avoidance Schemes at Risk

The list of schemes identified as being at risk from the accelerated payment rules can be found here:

Reviewed Tax Avoidance Scheme July 2014

The schemes are not identified by name but by their Disclosure of Tax Avoidance Schemes (DOTAS) number, which the scheme promoter should have provided to you if appropriate.

Advice from Tax Innovations

If you have participated in a scheme on this list it is important that you take advice as to how the potential accelerated payment requirement could affect your approach to any HMRC enquiry into the scheme. Tax Innovations Ltd has a great deal of experience in defending and concluding HMRC enquiries into tax structures and frequently provide this service to schemes for which we were not involved with the setup.

If you would like any advice regarding these expat tax tips or would simply like to discuss other ways in which we could help you as an expat, please contact us on 01962 856 990 or email customerservice@taxinnovations.com.