Tax compliance and you: avoiding tax avoidance

Celebrity tax evasion and international tax avoidance from big business are rarely out of the headlines, making HMRC examine the tax system in finer detail with accelerated payments.

In times of financial austerity it is more important than ever to ensure that your finances and tax planning are being carefully controlled. If you don’t have an accountant to look after your affairs then you’re more likely to make costly mistakes such as incorrectly completed tax returns. A tax advisor can help you to avoid the pitfalls that can arise from tax avoidance schemes and ensure that your money is working as hard as it can for you.

Contractors, limited companies and sole traders are being scrutinised more closely than ever before, with accelerated payment notices being sent out to 33,000 individuals and 10,000 businesses in the UK, requiring them to pay disputed tax up front. HMRC expects to send out 2,500 notices a month, with the aim of £7.1bn of unpaid tax being retrieved.

Tax avoidance schemes, made more prominent by high profile celebrity cases involving members of Take That and comedian Jimmy Carr, have come under increasing scrutiny in recent years. Following public outcry and the chance to recoup billions in unpaid tax, HMRC will send accelerated payment notices over the next 18 months to those it believes owe tax. HMRC had also hoped to be able to take payment directly from the bank accounts of those who owe money although the introduction to this has now been postponed.

If you have any questions about these matters or require some tax planning advice, then please do get in touch with one of our tax partners. It’s easy to make costly mistakes that contravene tax compliance legislation, which can also lead to problems further down the line. 

Clare Munro
Phil Moss

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