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HMRC delivers pre-emptive strike against avoidance scheme

HMRC delivers pre-emptive strike against avoidance scheme

HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) is sending letters to 1,500 people it believes have signed up to a tax avoidance scheme as a pre-emptive strike before challenging its legality, according to the BBC.

According to the BBC, the first batch of letters were set to be sent out on Saturday. One version of the letter states: 'You are in the small minority of people who have made the deliberate choice to avoid tax. We focus our resources on this small minority. The choice that you have made changes the way we view your tax affairs.

'Our Specialist Investigations Unit will be carrying out a full investigation into this scheme and they will open an enquiry into your tax affairs.'

The letter says those who use the scheme be ordered to pay outstanding tax plus interest or face a financial penalty. It provides contact and payments details for those who wish to pull out of the scheme.

It is the first time HMRC has issued such a warning, and forms part of its attempts to tackle a backlog of 41,000 tax avoidance cases representing £10.2 billion of tax.

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