Often we get asked the question, “can’t I have one of those avoidance schemes that the celebs use to stash their money in a foreign bank to save tax?”
Sadly (or not so sadly depending on which side of the fence you are) those days are over, and while we will help our clients to claim allowances that are rightfully theirs we do not advise our clients to use schemes that are unethical.
HMRC are proactively shutting down promoters of artificial tax avoidance schemes with the Exchequer Secretary David Gauke commenting; “this Government has provided HMRC with the resources to tackle these avoidance schemes and HMRC will now pursue the other users of the scheme to make sure all the taxes that are due are paid.”
Recently Jimmy Car told the BBC that he “made a terrible error of judgement” over using a tax avoidance scheme. To paraphrase; he said that although he used the K2 Tax scheme to lower the amount of tax he paid; it is entirely legal and has been disclosed to HMRC. He fully acknowledges that he will conduct his financial affairs much more responsibly in future.”
So let’s be clear, tax evasion is illegally not paying tax while tax avoidance is the perfectly legal practice of paying the bare minimum. If we want a fair level playing field we need to close the loopholes for the ‘evaders’ and reduce the ease at which people and companies can avoid tax.
As mentioned, we help our clients benefit from schemes that allow them to save tax within the rules rather than enticing them to go out of their way to bend the law.
If you would like to know more about the benefits of working with an AIMS Accountant, click here.