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HMRC wins bid to shut down pernicious tax avoidance scheme

Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs has struck yet another blow against tax dodgers by taking down a major tax avoidance scheme, thanks to a new court ruling.

Now, I’m not the biggest fan of the taxman when it comes down to it; HMRC has a track record of bollixing things up rather spectacularly in the past but in this case I’m proud to say that the tax authority has managed to do something that I not only agree with but support wholeheartedly. Why the change of heart on my part? Well it’s managed to take down a tax avoidance scheme that was making use of vaccine research – and I can’t think of anything more heinous and cynical than using research into life-saving drugs as a way to avoid your tax responsibilities.

The Vaccine Research Limited Partnership scheme, a tax planning initiative that claimed back something like £77 million, is now no more after an Upper Tribunal review of an initial decision that declared the measure blatantly nothing more than a way to cheat on your taxes. Scheme investors were found to have been using a limited partnership registered in Jersey to both create and exploit intellectual property into disease vaccine research.

The scheme supposedly spent some £114 million on investments and lost £193 million in its first year, but HMRC investigators found that the research and development costs were closer to £14 million in actuality. This of course sent the taxman into a tizzy and led to the initial First-tier Tribunal – and now with the Upper Tribunal backing up the FTT’s findings, this vile little pack of lies has been put to bed.

I hope any of your bastards who sunk your money into this are happy now. I really can’t believe that anyone would use vaccine research to make a quick buck, especially at the expense of taxpayers. For every penny the taxman collects from corporations and high-rollers it’s one less penny that gets taken away from hard-working Brits like small business owners and contractors, and I’m tired of hearing how normal Brits are getting ground under HMRC’s heel whilst you high rollers get off scot-free. Let this be a lesson to anyone who thinks they can pull the wool over the taxman’s eyes!

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