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HMRC deliver 'hat trick'

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has announced that it won three court decisions against tax avoidance schemes in July.

These schemes, if left unchallenged, would have diverted £200 million from the UK Exchequer.

HMRC's Director General of Business, Jim Harra claimed the latest victories sent a 'clear message' to tax avoiders that HMRC will 'beat you'.

Details of the cases have been released and include an unpaid capital gains tax on a £10 million gain realised in 2003/4. Further details show the directors of Sloane Robinson Investment Services tried to divert their significant bonus payments into a modified scheme, putting approximately £13 million of tax at stake.

The results of these three cases follows a landmark decision made in June which decided that a scheme to avoid tax actually produced the result that tax was payable twice as penalty. While all of the aforementioned cases have been made an example of, they may all still be subject to appeal.

Finally, Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury David Guake insisted that HMRC would continue to pursue users of tax avoidance schemes through the court 'where necessary' and that the three wins in July were 'very welcome'.


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