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Taxman handed deciding powers under delayed Gaar

Taxman handed deciding powers under delayed Gaar

The government’s long-promised General Anti-Abuse Rule (Gaar) will not come into force until at the least the summer of 2013, according to draft legislation published yesterday.

The Gaar, which will ban individuals and companies from engaging in aggressive tax avoidance schemes, was first proposed by chancellor George Osborne in his 2012 Budget, and had been set to come into existence by April 2013.

Legislation for the rule also hands HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) the power to decide whether a scheme or tax arrangement is abusive.

There had been discussions over whether an independent body would be set up to identify and act against legal tax arrangements which were deemed abusive.

The Gaar will now come into force when the Finance Bill receives royal assent later in 2013.

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