As announced in Spring Budget 2023, the government is considering further measures to combat tax avoidance (see News brief “Spring Budget 2023: enterprise, everywhere, all at once”, True to its word, on 27 April 2023, it launched a consultation on tougher consequences for promoters of tax avoidance, which includes two key proposals:

  • The introduction of a criminal offence for those who continue to promote tax avoidance schemes specified in an HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) issued stop notice.
  • Expedited disqualification of directors of companies, and those who otherwise control or exercise influence over companies, which are involved in promoting tax avoidance.

The government hopes that these proposals will not only bolster the existing promoters of tax avoidance schemes (POTAS) regime, which was first introduced in 2014, but also build on HMRC’s developing strategy for clamping down on tax avoidance which, among other things, enables HMRC to issue stop notices prohibiting scheme promotion and to present winding-up petitions for companies and partnerships involved in the promotion of tax avoidance.

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This article first appeared in the June 2023 issue of PLC Magazine.