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Billion pound haul for taxman from accelerated payments

A BILLION POUNDS has been collected by the taxman in advance payments, under its new scheme to aggressively tackle tax avoidance.

The billion pound mark has been hit by HM Revenue & Customs, using powers gained in 2014/15 to collect disputed tax upfront – in a further attack on tax avoidance.

“The Government will not tolerate tax avoidance and accelerated payments has been a real game changer,” said financial secretary to the Treasury David Gauke (pictured).

“It is no longer possible for these individuals to avoid tax and sit on the money while their affairs are investigated. This first £1bn received in accelerated payments shows that we are turning the tables on those looking to avoid paying their fair share.”

Attempts to question the legality of the APNs have so far failed, with a High court challenge by investors in Ingenious Media film partnerships failing.

HMRC said it expects to issue 64,000 accelerated payment notices to individuals and businesses currently involved in tax avoidance schemes. In 2014/15, around 10,000 accelerated payment notices were issued to people involved in tax avoidance schemes.

The payments scheme was introduced in the Finance Act 2014 and National Insurance Contributions Act 2015. The notices apply where schemes are subject to existing tax avoidance disclosure and anti-abuse rules, where a similar scheme has been defeated in the courts.

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