HMRC added three promoters of tax avoidance schemes to its online list in the past week only to remove seven others due to legislation that prevents schemes from being named for more than 12 months.
Umbrella company compliance expert, PayePass, has criticised the government on several fronts, calling for this “ridiculous loophole” in legislation to be closed.
On 27th July, Easyway Umbrella Limited was added to HMRC’s ‘Current list of named tax avoidance schemes, promoters, enablers and suppliers’. Then, on 2nd August, Apricot Umbrella Limited and Countrywide Partners Limited were also included.
However, seven other tax avoidance schemes identified by HMRC were removed from this list, in line with the requirements of the Finance Act 2021 – which means promoters of schemes can only be made public for 12 months.
Julia Kermode, CEO of PayePass said, “It’s three steps forward seven steps back. How much good is it for HMRC to warn workers and businesses of three tax avoidance schemes only to delete seven known others? I can’t understand the logic behind it whatsoever.
“This ridiculous loophole in legislation completely undermines the purpose of the list, not to mention the impact it is or isn’t having. Publishing a list of tax avoidance schemes is all well and good but if schemes are being removed more than they’re being identified, HMRC is hardly solving the problem. I’m not sure that the government is doing enough to make sure this list reaches enough people and businesses either.
“We’ve seen it with the Loan Charge, where tens of thousands of innocent people were lured into working through tax avoidance schemes only to be hit with devastating tax bills years later. The more that is done to put a stop to these unlawful, immoral schemes, the better.”