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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%.

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Jersey 'must stand up for itself'

A senior politician in Jersey has said it is time for the island to break the "thrall of Whitehall" and declare independence from the UK.

Sir Philip Bailhache told The Guardian:

I feel that we get a raw deal. I feel it's not fair … I think that the duty of Jersey politicians now is to try to explain what the island is doing and not to take things lying down.

The island should be prepared to stand up for itself and should be ready to become independent if it were necessary in Jersey's interest to do so.

Jersey should 'be ready to become independent'

Sir Philip Bailhache during a walkabout with the Queen in 2001 Credit: Press Association

A senior Jersey politician has called for the island to "be ready to become independent" after the Government pledged to tackle its tax schemes.

Sir Philip Bailhache, the island's assistant chief minister, wants officials to begin preparations for severing links with the UK, claiming the largest of the Channel Islands was getting a "raw deal".

The Guardian is reporting that political attacks on the finance industry have made it "very plain" there is a clash of interests.

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