MP proposes new law to outlaw tax avoidance schemes

Labour MP for Oldham West and Royton Michael Meacher says tax avoidance is a 'cancer of UK society'

Labour MP for Oldham and West Royton Michael Meacher today introduced a Private Member's Bill into the Commons which would outlaw any financial transaction for which the primary purpose is tax avoidance / evasion.

Mr Meacher said he believed the Bill was necessary as "tax avoidance is now the cancer" of British society.

The Bill seeks to transfer the burden of proof from HMRC to the companies involved: instead of HMRC having to go through a costly investigation to prove that the transaction was a disguised tax avoidance scheme, the company involved would instead have to prove that it was not.

"If HMRC believed for good reasons that it was really for tax avoidance purposes, they could declare that the transaction was null and void and it would be for the company, if they so chose, to challenge that decision in court."