Budget 09: Focus on beating avoidance echoes G20

The Budget had continued the G20 focus of tax avoidance but introducing nine
separate measures intended to protect tax revenues from being diminished.

Taken together the measures are estimated to save the exchequer £260m this
year. Small by comparison to the overall reduction in tax revenues forced by the
recession, but will be viewed as substantial by HM Revenue & Customs.

The measures include shutting down avoidance schemes associated with overseas
dividends and foreign exchange and double tax relief.

But some of the more arcame measures include forcing finance directors to
sign off on their company’s tax calculations and naming and shaming tax

The FD measure is estimated to be worth £90m in extra tax revenues over the
next three years – though the government has not explained how that is
calculated. Likewise with naming and shaming, which is said to be worth £80m
between now and 2012.

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