Accountants in Brown’s line of fire

Tomorrow’s Budget speech will see Gordon Brown bring in rules to counter new
tax schemes devised by some accountants and other advisers and aimed at reducing
a client’s tax liability, according to Grant Thornton.

As the chancellor lines up his 10th Budget speech, the firm said Brown would
launch a fresh clampdown on schemes to avoid clients’ tax liabilities – a theme
of the last four Budgets.

Stephen Quest, Grant Thornton’s tax partner, said: ‘There will be new rules
to counter new tax schemes and a broadening of the requirements of tax advisers
to disclose proposed plans.

Quest said that while it was reasonable to attack abuses of the tax code,
there was a big risk that such a clampdown would create more complexity in the
tax system and ‘adversely affect the ability of business to do commercial deals
with the certainty that is needed’.

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