Tax avoidance delay plea ignored
Controversial tax-avoidance measures will come into force today after chancellor Gordon Brown rejected last-gasp representations by accountants.
Six accountancy bodies pleaded for a delay to implementation over concerns that the Law Society’s stance on the new rules would disrupt their introduction, The Telegraph reported.
The Society has claimed professional privilege means its members do not have to disclose details of tax avoidance schemes to the Inland Revenue.
Accountants, who so not share the same level of privilege, want the rules to be changed to create an even playing field and claim a legal battle between the Revenue and the society could cause years of delay.
However, Accountancy Age has learned that the government could introduce legislation as early as next week to end the row, by shifting the burden of responsibility for reporting tax avoidance schemes onto lawyers’ clients.
The Treasury said it was continuing to talk to the society in a bid to settle the dispute.