Our tax team have commented via the UK200Group on whether HMRC is taking the best approach by writing to people using certain tax avoidance schemes, offering them the chance to settle their tax liabilities or face litigation:
‘HMRC should be applauded in seeking ways to speed up disputes involving avoidance cases. However, there needs to be a sufficient incentive for individuals to accept the settlement terms as opposed to waiting for the case to be litigated. This could, and probably should, include a zero penalty and favourable payment terms for anyone accepting HMRC’s offer of settling.
A vast number of avoidance cases are very old and individuals who are offered this opportunity may wish to consider whether HMRC can legitimately pursue taxes which may be out of time to assess and collect.’