Umbrella company compliance specialist, PayePass, has welcomed the publication of draft legislation which imposes tougher sanctions on those promoting tax avoidance schemes, saying it could protect hundreds of thousands of self-employed workers from the “trail of devastation” caused by these rogue operators.
The proposed legislation would give the government the power to issue unlimited fines and imprisonment for up to two years to the most persistent promoters of tax avoidance if they fail to adhere to a ‘Stop Notice’ issued by HMRC.
The legislation would also apply to those promoting tax avoidance in the UK via companies held overseas and also apply retrospectively, meaning promoters of tax avoidance who have already received a ‘Stop Notice’ would be impacted by the proposed law.
Julia Kermode, CEO of umbrella company compliance specialist, PayePass said, “The government looks to be pressing ahead with plans to hand out more severe punishments to those guilty of promoting tax avoidance schemes – and rightly so.
“These immoral schemes have left tens of thousands of innocent people with staggering tax bills, so anything that stops the trail of devastation they cause is welcome – albeit long overdue. The sooner it becomes law and those guilty of promoting tax avoidance face unlimited fines and jail time, the better.
“It’s been a long time coming, but the government is clearly alive to the fact that many of these schemes operate outside of the UK.
“This proposed legislation can be applied to these operators, meaning they have fewer places to hide. The plan to apply it retrospectively is also good news and could see recognised tax avoidance schemes hit with these new, harsher penalties.”