Pledge on service companies

Speaking in debates on the finance bill, John Healey, financial secretary to
the Treasury, said: ‘Let me make this clear, even where this specific exclusion
does not apply, the purpose of the legislation is not to include within the
definition of an MSC provider accountants, tax advisers, lawyers and company
secretaries, who provide advice or other professional services to companies and
individual clients.’

Advisers have not been involved in the off-the-shelf company provision
either, he suggested.

‘Those parties are not in the business of promoting or facilitating the use
of companies to provide the services of individuals. Nor are they regarded as
involved with the company in the way that the legislation envisages.’

The Treasury is thought to be discussing with professional institutes the
precise definition of accountants for the purposes of the legislation.

The rules on managed service companies identify the companies by identifying
their providers. Service companies allow companies and individuals to minimise
tax and national insurance paid by operating through a company rather than a
direct employment relationship.

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