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Anti-avoidance measures

Various measures to tackle tax avoidance and evasion have been announced, including:

  • A new penalty of 60% of the tax due to be charged in all cases successfully tackled by the General Anti-Abuse Rule (GAAR)
  • An increase in civil penalties for deliberate offshore tax evasion and for those who enable it
  • A new criminal offence that removes the need to prove intent for the most serious cases of failing to declare offshore income and gains
  • New penalties for those who persistently enter into tax avoidance schemes that are defeated by HMRC
  • The Transactions in Securities rules will be amended and a Targeted Anti-Avoidance Rule introduced in order to prevent opportunities for income to be converted to capital so as to gain a tax advantage
  • With effect from 25 November 2015, the legislation will be amended to prevent companies from artificially lowering the disposal value of plant and machinery for capital allowances purposes, and to make any payment received, for agreeing to take responsibility for tax deductible lease related payments, subject to tax as income
  • The Government intends to take action against those who have used or continue to use disguised remuneration schemes and who have not yet paid their ‘fair share’ of tax
  • New rules to prevent multinational enterprises avoiding tax through the use of certain cross-border business structures or finance transactions
  • The intangible fixed asset rules will be amended to ensure that partnerships cannot be used in arrangements that seek to obtain a tax relief for their corporate members in a way that is contrary to the intention of the regime
  • Legislation to determine when performance awards received by asset managers will be taxed as income or capital gains. An award will be subject to income tax unless the underlying fund undertakes long term investment activity
  • Following consultation, a new requirement that large businesses publish their tax strategies as they relate to or affect UK taxation.