HMRC Wins Tax Avoidance Case

HMRC has recently reported on its success in a tax avoidance case being heard at the Supreme Court, describing it as a ‘billion pound win for UK taxpayers’.

In the case, the Supreme Court has ruled against users of a failed tax avoidance film partnership scheme that tried to use legitimate investment in the film industry as a hook for tax avoidance.

HMRC had apparently already defeated the partnerships’ excessive claims to loss relief from investing in films, but they argued on a technicality that HMRC could not overturn their loss relief claims. The Supreme Court has disagreed - ruling in favour of HMRC and ensuring that these taxpayers, and others waiting for this ruling, will now have to pay their tax.

According to HMRC, the Supreme Court’s decision means that attempts to use technical and procedural points to avoid payment of the correct tax at the correct time have failed. It says that the ruling will potentially protect well over one billion pounds for the UK.

“This is another great success in HMRC’s drive against tax avoidance,” commented HMRC Director General for Customer Strategy & Tax Design, Jim Harra. “HMRC defeated De Silva and Dokelman’s tax avoidance scheme but they still argued on a technicality that the department could not collect the tax. The Supreme Court’s decision in favour of HMRC on this point will ensure that these taxpayers and others waiting behind their case will have to pay what they owe.”

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