Revenue officials were reportedly alerted to the problem following high-profile acquisitions – including that of Asda by US supermarket giant Wal-Mart.
The ‘loophole’ under investigation is thought to concern income investors receive following the acquisition of the company they hold shares in.
Shareholders often choose to collect money arising from acquisitions in the form of loan notes in order to delay paying CGT. But because these offer particularly low rates of return, they are often exchanged for unit trusts. This way CGT is deferred until the units are sold.
But ACCA head of taxation Chas Roy-Chowdhury told AccountancyAge.com that the scheme represented a means of deferring payment of tax, rather than a loophole.
He also said that relaxing the CGT regime was a way of making the UK more competitive and urged caution with tightening the rules.
‘I would hope the Revenue does not clamp down on these schemes,’ he said.
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