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‘Cowboy’ advisers face £1m fines under new HMRC rules
by Daniel Grote on Aug 12, 2013 at 07:48
Advisers who sell aggressive tax avoidance schemes could face fines of up to £1 million under new HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) plans to be unveiled today, according to The Times.
HMRC is to publish a consultation on new powers to pursue advisers marketing the schemes. Under the plans, the taxman would be allowed to publicly identify advisers it believes are behind the worst schemes and demand information from them at an early stage. Advisers who resist would face penalties of up to £1 million, according to the paper.
‘The proposals in this consultation will allow HMRC to further close in on the cowboy advisers promoting these high-risk schemes,’ said David Gauke (pictured), exchequer secretary to the Treasury.
‘The vast majority of tax advisers… have moved away from selling aggressive avoidance schemes, but there is still a minority that persists in promoting them,’ he added. ‘We want to make life as difficult as we can for them and demonstrate that there is not tolerance for aggressive tax avoidance.’
The plans would also enable HMRC to levy fines on individuals and businesses which purchase the schemes. Where HMRC successfully challenges schemes in court, users will have to pay fines in addition to the disputed tax.
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