HMRC release avoidance disclosure statistics
HMRC have published avoidance disclosure statistics for the period from 1 August 2004 to 30 September 2009. The statistics cover avoidance schemes intended to avoid one or more direct and indirect taxes including income tax, corporation tax, capital gains tax, national insurance contributions, stamp duty land tax and VAT.
Over the 5 year period there have been a total of nearly 2,000 direct tax scheme disclosures and about 900 VAT scheme disclosures. In the last 6 months the figures are 51 for schemes involving direct taxes, 32 for schemes involving Stamp Duty Land Tax and 83 for VAT schemes.
The obligation to report direct tax arrangements that have a tax advantage usually rests on the ‘promoter’ of the scheme who is required to disclose schemes taken up or offered to clients. Whilst the ‘promoter’ must explain the mechanics of any disclosable scheme, they are not required to disclose the names of clients to HMRC.
The arrangements for VAT are different and are limited to two main categories – listed schemes and hallmarked schemes. The listed schemes are those noted in the relevant legislation which taxpayers must notify to HMRC where their annual turnover is above £600k. Hallmarked schemes are schemes which, whilst not specifically listed in the legislation, meet one of a number of designated ‘hallmarks’ of avoidance.
The latest statistics can be viewed using the following link: