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Andrew Swan

Member Article

HMRC reap £1bn court wins

HMRC today announced that their fight against corporate tax avoidance schemes has netted over £1 billion in court wins in the first six months of 2013.

Announcing the figure, David Gauke, Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury, said: “Today I can announce that HMRC has topped £1 billion this year in court wins against corporate tax avoidance, following a judgment worth almost £88 million, involving a company called Vocalspruce and a scheme promoted by Price Waterhouse Coopers.”

Vocalspruce Ltd tried to convince a tax tribunal that a complex avoidance scheme worked as intended. The tribunal disagreed.

Welcoming the tribunal decision, Mr Gauke said: “These are complex, intricate schemes and without the technical skills, resources and sheer commitment of HMRC’s specialists they would go unchallenged, costing the country billions of pounds every year.”

“The message coming out of these cases is clear – entering into a tax avoidance scheme can be complex, expensive and self defeating, and the taxpayer can even end up paying more than the original bill.”

Solicitor Andrew Swan, financial crime partner at Short Richardson and Forth LLP, commented: “We have seen huge investment by the Government in providing HMRC with the resources to recover unpaid taxes by challenging corporate avoidance schemes, evasion and fraud. Many avoidance schemes may appear legitimate, but HMRC do not always agree.”

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Andrew Swan .

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