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Tax Avoidance – Accountants Called to the Dock

The recent Panama and Paradise papers have highlighted the fact that tax avoidance and evasion is a real problem in the UK.

Because of this, HMRC and MPs are looking to come down on offenders hard, which means you can be expecting to see a lot of convictions in the headlines over the coming months.

It isn’t just the self employed and business owners who are going to be put into the spotlight either. Usually, in these type of situations the accountants who mastermind the whole thing are given a free pass and allowed to continue with business as usual, but, this time around they won’t be so fortunate.

For example, a subcommittee of the Treasury select committee are soon going to be getting together to look closer at self employed people who are named in the Panama and Paradise papers, and if they feel the need, this subcommittee can use their powers to summon any accountant to face the music.

Major accountancy firms are expected to come under fire during this whole process, many of which have took on high profile clients in the past who went on to be named in the Panama and Paradise papers.

If you ask me, this sends out a clear message to accountants all around the country…if you help to commit the crime, then you could very well end up doing the time.

They are the architects of many of these tax evasion and avoidance schemes, so it shouldn’t comes as any surprise that MPs now want to speak with them.

Sure, in the past accountants have usually been left alone when high profile tax evasion cases have come into the public domain, but this time around something tells me things are going to be a lot different.

The chairman of the subcommittee had this to say -”We’ll be pressing the enablers and facilitators in the tax profession and others, summoning them before parliament to hear how their schemes work and how they justify it.”

One trick that accountants invented for their clients is the act of setting up offshore companies and then buying private jets through these companies, renting them back to themselves, and saving a substantial amount on VAT.

The VAT man is not happy, as you would expect, and now he has the power of the government behind him, you can expect action to be taken.

It might even get sent to the high court of England, where ordinary accountants will be summoned to the dock and be tried in front of a judge and jury. The hammer may even be slammed down, and a prison sentence given out…all for masterminding these tax avoidance schemes.

My advice to the self employed, business owners and contractors out there…choose your accountant wisely, and if they start telling you about these “amazing schemes to save you money,” then run a mile.

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