GAAR – Accountants to sit on clearance body

Clearance of transactions which might fall under the new general anti-avoidance rule will be handled by a special body which will include accountants, it was disclosed last week.

The Inland Revenue said the body would include seconded representatives from the accountancy and other professions, as well as Revenue and Customs & Excise staff.

The consultation paper on the GAAR says: ‘Such a body would be administrative rather than judicial, and could deal with clearances for possible future GAARs on other areas of direct and indirect taxes as well.’

In some cases ‘it would be necessary for the clearance body to seek further information in order to form a judgment about the clearance application’ but most would be dealt with with 30 days.

Chas Roy-Chowdhury, senior technical officer at ACCA, said the judgment period was too long for most companies. He added: ‘The government wants to raise more revenues, but the point is that only a minuscule number of companies are involved.’

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