HMRC bowled over after three more tribunal wins against tax avoidance

HMRC has secured a hat-trick of tribunal wins against tax avoidance schemes, protecting over £260m in tax.

All three rulings uphold earlier judgments in HMRC’s favour at the first-tier tribunal.

The upper tribunal dismissed an appeal brought by users of a scheme promoted by NT Advisors, the taxman’s ninth successive victory against schemes promoted by NT Advisors.

The latest scheme sought to create artificial losses by using a combination of the employment income and capital gains tax rules on share options. The judges dismissed the appeal without needing to hear substantive arguments from HMRC, and indicated that written reasons would follow. There were 420 users of the scheme.

The upper tribunal also dismissed two other cases. These bespoke schemes were designed by banks to provide the users with a much higher tax-free return on their cash deposits than they could have obtained by placing funds in a normal deposit account. Both schemes were marketed and sold by banks several years ago for substantial fees. The court joined these two separate cases because of the similarities between them.

Financial secretary to the Treasury, David Gauke, said: “The overwhelming majority of people pay the taxes they owe. These latest cases show that HMRC will effectively tackle those who try to get around their legal responsibilities. Users of avoidance schemes should think twice before trying to abuse tax reliefs to avoid paying their fair share of tax.”

The three cases are Steve Price, John Myers and James Lucas v HMRC; Malcolm Healey v HMRC and Philip Savva, Andrew Savva, Mario Savva, Savva Savva and Kalliopi Pericleous v HMRC.

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