Tax avoidance 'name and shame'

Promoters of aggressive tax avoidance schemes will be forced to disclose their client lists to inspectors under a government crackdown, ministers will announce today.

Law must change to fight tax avoidance, UK Uncut says

In response to the Government's proposals announced today, a spokesperson for protest group UK Uncut told ITV News that clamping down on the latest tax avoidance schemes requires a change in law.

It's very difficult to clamp down on tax avoidance when the current laws can be interpreted in different ways.

More needs to be done to address the legality of aggressive tax avoidance, to decide what it actually means.

Without readdressing that it's difficult to know what power the HMRC can actually exert.

– UK Uncut

Tax avoidance clampdown is 'poor substitute for serious reform'

The TaxPayers' Alliance pressure group said today's Government proposals to clamp down on the latest methods of tax avoidance are a "poor substitute for serious reform of the tax system."

Ministers need to be more realistic about HMRC's ability to clamp down when its resources are so stretched simply administering our hideously complicated taxes, let alone chasing those finding creative and legally dubious ways around them.

With a better tax system, HMRC staff can focus their attention on tackling those who are abusing the system. Proper reforms can ensure that everyone pays no more, and no less, than their fair share.

– Matthew Sinclair, director of the TaxPayers' Alliance pressure group

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Taxpayers to be warned over avoidance schemes

The new Government proposals aiming to crack down on tax avoidance will include warnings to inform taxpayers when they are being mis-sold schemes by less reputable promoters.

Treasury Minister David Gauke said the overall changes would bring the response to tax avoidance up to date in the wake of new schemes that had outfoxed officials.

The Disclosure of Tax Avoidance Schemes regime (DOTAS) has assisted HMRC greatly over the years, closing off around £12.5bn in avoidance opportunities.

But as the avoidance landscape changes, so must it.

The major reforms to the system we consult on today can .... place DOTAS once again at the forefront of anti avoidance measures globally.

– David Gauke

Reforms will 'make life difficult' for tax avoiders

UK promoters will be made to hand over customer databases under the proposals, allowing HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) to formally warn clients directly about the deals they have signed up to and to work out how much tax they owe if the scheme fails.

Under the reforms, which will go out to consultation, a promoter who has been penalised for not abiding by the rules will also have to provide extra information to HMRC on all of their schemes, not just the one they were reprimanded for.

Treasury Minister David Gauke will tell the Policy Exchange:

We are building on the work we have already done to make life difficult for those who artificially and aggressively reduce their tax bill.

These schemes damage our ability to fund public services and provide support to those who need it. They harm businesses by distorting competition. They damage public confidence.

And they undermine the actions of the vast majority of taxpayers, who pay more in tax as a consequence of others enjoying a free ride.

– Treasury Minister David Gauke

Tax avoidance promoters face crackdown

Promoters of aggressive tax avoidance schemes will be forced to disclose their client lists to inspectors under a new crackdown, the Government will announce today.

Think tank scheme operators will be "named and shamed" for sharp practice, Treasury Minister David Gauke will tell the Policy Exchange.

It follows a wave of revelations about the financial loopholes used by the rich and famous to legally side-step hefty tax bills.

Last month comedian Jimmy Carr admitted to making a "terrible error of judgment" after it emerged he was using a scheme to pay an income tax rate as low as 1%.