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Tax advisers slapped with £1 million tax avoidance fines?

As if anyone didn’t think Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs wasn’t playing for keeps, now there’s a chance that tax advisers could be fined as much as £1 million.

Tax avoidance and tax evasion is the current crusade that the Government has launched, and HMRC has become its sharp-bladed sword. The Treasury is honing its weapon, and the newest whetstone to meet the steel takes the form of a new raft of proposals that will provide the taxman with a bit more bite. The most unequivocally controversial and high-profile of these new proposals is  the plan to fine tax planners if they refuse to comply to the letter of new regulations – and the fine is a massive one.

There’s all sorts of new regulations to keep aware of when it comes to tax planning promoters and tax advisers. Their clients, whether they be massive multinationals or simple contract workers, need to now be issued a promoter reference number, and there are other documentation rules that will need to be followed as well. Ostensibly all of this is to provide a clear paper trail to catch tax planners red-handed in promoting tax avoidance schemes that are robbing HMRC of revenue it can use in mis-managing all sorts of Government functions. After all, if there’s anything the Treasury knows how to do it’s waste taxpayer money, right?

I suppose that’s a bit unfair of me to say, but for what it’s worth do you truly think that taxpayer money is truly managed properly by the Government? Of course not. Still, if HMRC can siphon off a few million here and there from borderline criminal tax planning firms that specialise in the kinds of schemes that make it easier for people to not pay their fair share, I’d be happy to turn a blind eye and a deaf ear to the ‘suffering’ of these poor, bedraggled tax planners. Maybe if they would have been on the up and up in the first place they wouldn’t be targeted by the taxman now. Then again I suppose hindsight is crystal clear for just about everyone isn’t it?

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