Tax avoidance promoters ordered to stop or face heavy penalties from HMRC

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20 Jun 2023

Two companies have been ordered to stop selling specific tax avoidance schemes immediately or face an initial penalty of £100,000, HMRC has announced.

HMRC has issued Stop Notices to the two companies, which were named as tax avoidance promoters last year. Now they have since been issued with Stop Notices requiring them to halt the sale of these schemes. Previously, HMRC could only publish the names of tax avoidance promoters but are now additionally able to publicise the issuing of Stop Notices.

A Stop Notice requires a company to immediately cease promoting an avoidance scheme, notify their clients that a Stop Notice has been issued and make quarterly compliance declarations to HMRC. Failure to do so can lead to an initial fine of up to £100,000 and unlimited accumulating penalties for other breaches of the Notice of up £5,000 per scheme user.

Mary Aiston, HMRC's Director of Counter Avoidance, said: 'Stop Notices are a powerful way to close down individual schemes and ensure money goes to fund our vital public services.

'Most schemes don't work and risk taxpayers getting into debt. We've already made great strides in tackling promoters of tax avoidance and we'll continue to act against those who design and sell schemes.

'Anyone who thinks they may be involved in a tax avoidance scheme, or have been approached by a scheme promoter, should contact us as soon as possible to get help.'