HMRC to raise £7bn from ‘pay up first’ powers

HM REVENUE & CUSTOMS expects to raise around £7bn through the issue of accelerated payment notices to those involved in tax avoidance schemes, Accountancy Age has learned.

Accountancy Age understands that the taxman expects to raise the £7bn figure over the next two years.

Notices relating to existing tax avoidance cases under dispute are to be issued to 43,000 taxpayers by HMRC from next week as it steps up its clampdown on the use of alleged tax avoidance schemes.

Of the 43,000 figure, 33,000 are individual taxpayers expected to contribute £5.1bn. The individuals affected have a mean gross income of £262,000, HMRC said. The other 10,000 are businesses, brining the predicted figure up to £7bn.

Under the new ‘Accelerated Payment’ rules, HMRC will be able to make taxpayers pay disputed tax in advance, rather than waiting for the outcome of a tax tribunal ruling. If the taxpayer wins their case, the money is reimbursed with interest.

Hundreds of investors including business leaders, sports stars and entertainers were warned earlier this week to prepare to receive sizeable tax bills as HMRC cracks down on the use of alleged tax avoidance schemes.

Ingenious Media, an investment company, issued a warning to 1,300 investors, including sports stars such as David Beckham, that they could be forced to pay back all the tax they saved, possibly with interest, by using its alleged tax avoidance scheme, the Financial Times reported.

Ingenious Media, which has financed box-office hits such as Avatar, has previously denied that its film and game partnerships are tax avoidance schemes, saying they are legitimate businesses that have generated more than £1bn of taxable revenue.

Top ten accountants Moore Stephens have also claimed that the taxman’s proposed new powers to force businesses and individuals who have used tax avoidance schemes to pay the disputed tax upfront could trigger a wave of insolvencies.



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