Releasing upbeat interim results last week, Paul Jackson, the
Vantis chief executive, said
nothing had happened in relation to the HM
Revenue & Customs interest since the June visits to the firm. He also
insisted the firm had not ‘marketed’ the four investment plans HMRC is
investigating, nor had anyone working for Vantis marketed them.
Jackson insisted that nobody from Vantis or connected with the company had
manipulated the share price of the companies concerned in any way.
HMRC has launched an assault on gift aid schemes generally, which involve
selling shares in companies, then floating them. When the share prices rise the
shares are gifted to charity entitling the shareholder to a tax deduction.
‘The American way is what Brown wants to bring in. That may take two to three
years, [but you can] send out a message [this way]. There appears to be a clear
campaign to rough up the mitigation sector,’ Jackson said.
Vantis has insisted the companies have clear commercial prospects and are not
cash shells, which have been the focus of other HMRC investigations. It also
says tax rules have been applied strictly.