Tax avoidance umbrella company bosses named
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HMRC has publicly named tax avoidance bosses for the first time, exposing 15 companies involved in promoting avoidance schemes
Today, HM Revenue and Customers (HMRC) used newly acquired authority to publicly identify the directors of many businesses that promote tax avoidance, issuing a warning to clients to leave the companies’ programs or face hefty tax bills.
How many companies named by HMRC involved in tax avoidance scheme?
Currently, 15 companies involved in promoting tax avoidance schemes have been named.
This is not a complete list of all the current schemes being marketed, nor of all the promoters, enablers, and suppliers involved.
The new powers granted under Section 86 of the Finance Act 2022 now enables HMRC to name directors, shareholders and company officers of companies suspected of promoting tax avoidance.
Mary Aiston, director of counter avoidance, HMRC, said: ‘Naming the people behind tax avoidance schemes is a crucial step in helping customers stay clear of current and future schemes they promote.
‘Our recent action should serve as a stark warning to promoters who think they can get away with peddling avoidance schemes. We will continue to use all the powers at our disposal to crack-down on promoters.
‘Customers who think they’re involved in a tax avoidance scheme, should withdraw from the scheme, and contact us for help as soon as possible.’
Users of the scheme who entered into a contract for employment with the promoters received the National Minimum Wage. The remaining of their money was then given to them in a disguise so they wouldn’t have to pay income tax and national insurance.
HMRC hopes that by identifying the directors responsible for these schemes, the public will be warned to avoid any avoidance strategies pushed by other businesses run by the same directors.
This latest step in HMRC’s crack-down on tax avoidance comes as a stop notice was issued earlier this month. This prevents the promoter from selling their scheme or face penalties of up to £1m.
HMRC has also provided a range of tools to help people steer clear of avoidance schemes, as part of the Tax Avoidance – Don’t Get Caught Out campaign. These tools include an interactive risk checker, payslip guidance, and case studies demonstrating the risks of becoming involved in a tax avoidance scheme and the warning signs the public should look out for.
People who believe they are involved in a tax avoidance scheme should contact HMRC as quickly as possible by calling 03000 534 226.
HMRC is also urging people who have been encouraged to get into a tax avoidance scheme or have come into contact with someone selling tax avoidance schemes to report this by using their online form.
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