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HMRC adds another settlement opportunity for those involved in tax avoidance schemes

Participants in sole trader tax avoidance schemes are being given an opportunity by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) to settle their tax affairs.

The department is targeting people using programmes that have, in the past, "sought to create a loss through a self-employed trade that would involve substantial expenditure said to be incurred in the trade, or a write-off of expenditure or the value of rights or assets through Generally Accepted Accounting Practice".

Three terms of settlement have been laid out which, if agreed to by the scheme participant, would mean they would not be at risk of further criminal investigation. However, those already being investigated will not be able to settle under these terms.

The department also confirmed they are "prepared to settle with individual sole traders, irrespective of whether or not the promoter or the other participants in the scheme continue to disagree with HMRC's view".

All those who HMRC believes are eligible for this, or the three other settlement opportunities, will have been contacted by the end of this month, the department added.

Posted by Thomas Fletcher

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