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For several years HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) have been concerned that directors and shareholders of companies, referred to as “close companies”, have been able to avoid paying tax by abusing rules relating to loans made to directors, shareholders or other “participants” or indeed to their associates. Typically this might involve a director or shareholder […]

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 In his Budget yesterday UK Chancellor George Osborne responded positively to calls from the London Stock Exchange and abolished stamp duty on shares of companies listed on growth markets including the Alternative Investment Market (AIM) and the ISDX Growth Market. The Stock Exchange, financial institutions, and business organisations have long argued that removing stamp duty […]

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The Court of Appeal has now confirmed the decision of the Upper Tier Tribunal in Anson –v- HMRC, a case dealing with the issue of whether a Delaware Limited Liability Company was tax transparent or not. Mr Anson was a member of a Delaware LLC which carried on business in the US. Since a Delaware […]

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The Isle of Man government has signed a tax information sharing agreement with the UK government to help combat tax evasion. Under the agreement, the Isle of Man and UK will automatically exchange a wide range of information on tax residents, on a reciprocal basis. It should be emphasised that evasion isn’t avoidance and there […]

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At its simplest, tax planning is just a case of arranging your financial affairs in such a way as to pay as little tax as possible within the law and so not much different from “tax avoidance”. Politicians and the media are struggling to agree exactly what “tax avoidance” is and are starting to use […]

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Tax evasion is the illegal evasion of any type of tax or duty (so it includes smuggling) by individuals, companies, trusts or other corporate entities. Typically evasion occurs when taxpayers deliberately misrepresent the true state of their affairs to the tax authorities to reduce their tax liability and includes dishonest tax reporting, such as declaring less income, profits […]

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Almost before George Osborne sat down after delivering his 2012 Budget speech, many of his own Conservative MPs – on the back benches and in the cabinet – were putting up howls of anguish at some of the measures, such as the so-called “pasty tax”, the “granny tax”, taxes on caravans and listed buildings, and […]

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I honestly cannot believe the cack-handed way in which the government has sought to defend George Osborne’s proposed tax-relief cap for charity donations. Worse still they have attempted to do so in a manner that displays a total lack of understanding on how tax relief for charities actually works. It isn’t rocket science guys – […]

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It comes as no surprise that the UK Government has accepted the recommendation of Graham Aaronson QC that a General Anti-abuse Rule (GAAR) should be introduced into the UK tax system to tackle what it sees as misinterpretation of legislation. The aim of the GAAR is to allow tax avoidance to be tackled without making […]

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Watching George Osborne’s 2012 Budget speech on TV I cringed at some of the ideas that he came up with, not because they might not have points to recommend them, but because Osborne didn’t seem to realise that they gifted the opposition, the media, and some of his own party, opportunities to mock and attack […]

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For the purposes of UK Taxation a close company is broadly defined as being one controlled, directly or indirectly, by five or fewer “participators” or by any number of directors who are participators. HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) defines a participator as a person who has a share or “interest” in a company. A participator […]

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 Before I continue let me make it clear that the above is not an accusation but a genuine question, and one which I think needs to be answered urgently. By now there can be few people who have not heard that Sir Paul Stephenson, the Commissioner of London’s Metropolitan Police force, resigned last night. In […]

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Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs have announced a new hit list of potential tax cheats who they are targeting for investigation. High on that list are teachers who make extra cash from giving private lessons, people selling goods on eBay, Amazon or other internet sites, personal trainers and tradesmen and businesses who hide their true […]

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HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) has published revised Advisory Fuel rates to be used as mileage allowances where an employee is provided with a company car but not with company fuel. This can be, and usually is, advantageous to the employee who instead of being liable to be taxed on the “benefit in kind” of […]

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It’s over a year now since I pointed out that it is actually in the best interest of the British taxpayer for banks (or any other business) to pay large bonuses to their staff. It isn’t hard to see why this should be so and so I’m rather surprised that neither the media nor Government […]

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On July 20th this year the Chancellor George Osborne announced the establishment of the Office of Tax Simplification (“OTS”) charged with the task of providing the Government with independent advice on simplifying the UK tax system. Not before time! Today the OTS announced details of two initial reviews, which are to be completed before the […]

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In a new paper contributing to the debate about higher education funding, the Institute of Directors (IoD) argues that a graduate tax is the wrong policy solution and would damage the UK’s tax competitiveness. Nor would it solve the problem of widening participation. The IoD urges the Government to opt for an extension of the […]

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The Coalition’s June 2010 Budget announced that the Government wished to consider how the Pay As You Earn (PAYE) system could be improved in order to reduce costs, ensure accurate tax calculations, and make it easier for employers and HMRC (Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs) to administer. In all honesty something does need to be […]

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Capital Gains Tax (“CGT”) was introduced by Harold Wilson’s Labour Government in 1965. Its purpose was simple: To tax the profit or “gain” made on the sale or “disposal” of an asset by individuals. Companies do not pay CGT but instead any gain is taxable as part of their Corporation Tax bill. The original reason […]

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UK tax law is among the most complex in the world, and it has been getting more complex every year. Despite the fact that I earn a fair amount of my income advising on tax matters I welcome the announcement by Chancellor George Osborne of the establishment of the Office of Tax Simplification. The problem with UK […]

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