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Spotlight on Tax Avoidance Schemes

Newsletter issue - August 2016.

HMRC have published Spotlight 31: change of date for withdrawal of transitional relief on investment growth, which covers the extension of the date of withdrawal of transitional relief currently available under FA 2011, Sch. 2, para. 59 from 30 November 2016 to 31 March 2017.

The withdrawal of the relief was announced at the 2016 Budget, as part of the package of changes to tackle the use of disguised remuneration avoidance schemes (such as Employee Benefit Trusts (EBTs) and contractor loans) and ensure that those who have used these schemes pay the correct amount of tax and National Insurance contributions.

The transitional relief was intended to work alongside the EBT settlement opportunity, which closed on 31 March 2015. However, HMRC are keen to ensure all users of disguised remuneration schemes have the opportunity to settle liabilities before the transitional relief in para. 59 is withdrawn. Therefore an amendment to Finance Bill 2016 has been tabled to extend the date for the withdrawal to 31 March 2017. The amendment, once enacted, will mean that users who want to benefit from the transitional relief on investment growth in para. 59 must have settled on or before 31 March 2017.