TaxWatch calls on City of London Police to investigate fraudulent tax schemes

by | Aug 19, 2020

TaxWatch is calling on the Economic Crime Unit of the City of London Police to open a fraud investigation into the promoters and marketers of disguised remuneration tax avoidance schemes.

Recent press reports have revealed that disguised remuneration tax avoidance schemes continue to be marketed to the public, including the direct targeting of NHS workers during Covid-19 pandemic. These schemes are marketed as “lawful” means of reducing a tax liability despite very clear legal rulings to the contrary.

The fraudulent marketing of schemes leads to contractors handing over substantial fees to dishonest tax advisors on the false belief that what they are doing is lawful.

However, when the schemes inevitably fail, users will be left with crushing financial losses.

Writing to the Economic Crime Unit, Director of TaxWatch George Turner said:

“Now that the legal position on the taxation of disguised remuneration schemes is crystal clear, anyone continuing to design, market, and promote loan schemes can not be doing so in the honest belief that these are anything other than unlawful attempts to evade tax.”

“Promoters continue to perpetrate these schemes because they are able to generate very significant fee income from scheme users, and if HMRC challenge these schemes, the users, and not the promoters, will be held liable for the taxes owed.”

“These schemes are an economic crime which cost the Treasury hundreds of millions a year. Until the promoters of fraudulent tax schemes are prosecuted, they will continue to ruin lives.”

The full text of the letter can be found here.

This was reported on in Law360, Computer Weekly, and Contractor UK.

Photo by Bruno Martins on Unsplash

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