Revenue puts avoidance under fresh scrutiny

HM Revenue & Customs has embarked on a study looking into how countries
such as Australia, New Zealand, Canada and Spain use general anti-avoidance tax

The investigation comes just a few years after a similar proposal was dropped
after vociferous opposition from UK business, the FT reports. The news
of the research emerged at a House of Lords committee meeting in May.

HMRC commissioner, Dave Hartnett, said the investigation would not
necessarily lead to a new proposal to introduce such a rule, but advisers said
the move would would upset the business community. He said HMRC wanted to
understand how the rule had worked in different jurisdictions.

Deloitte partner Bill Dodwell said the research would create a ‘huge amount
of cost and uncertainty’ and would inevitably cause more regulation. He added
that HMRC would not be undertaking the study if it wasn’t seriously considering
a general anti-avoidance rule.

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