What are Accelerated Payment Notices?

In 2014 the Government introduced Accelerated Payment Notices (APN) which allow HMRC to demand upfront payment of tax, even when the actual sum due has not been determined. APNs are also used in circumstances where HMRC deems a particular scheme to be a tax avoidance scheme and the case is still being heard by a Tax Tribunal.

Having published a list of 1,200 tax schemes which are to be challenged it is anticipated that, over the coming years, HMRC will issue APN’s to 33,000 individuals and 10,000 businesses in a bid to reclaim £7.1bn of unpaid tax.

The first wave of APN’s targeted individuals who invested in “tax-efficient” schemes promoted by media investment and advisory groups. Scheme partners became directors of film related partnerships, originally designed to boost investment in the British film industry. These partnerships made losses which could be offset against investors’ other income, thus reducing their tax bills. High-earning footballers and other media stars were targeted by financial advisers for these products and having received payment demands from HMRC many of them are in severe financial difficulties and even facing bankruptcy.

The APN legislation has empowered HMRC to demand payment within 90 days, even if the investigation into the scheme is progressing through the court system. Restricted access to cash within such a short period may result in insolvency.

When to consider Accelerated Payment Notices

If you are worried that you have an investment which may come under scrutiny by HMRC then you should seek help as soon as possible. It is better to be proactive and, if required, take mitigating action in advance of the notice being received.

Next steps

We would encourage you to enter the 8 digit tax scheme number into our online APN Search facility available here. If the scheme is listed, we recommend that professional advice is sought immediately.

Our approach is to help minimise future exposure by assisting our clients to leave the scheme. We can determine whether the scheme promoter is appealing HMRCs finding and where the case is in relation to the legal process. We review our client's financial position to determine whether it is feasible to make an offer to settle. If not, we will work through the options available which vary depending on where our client is based within the UK.

For Scottish debt help, see also:-

You may also be interested in considering the following related pages if you live in Scotland:-

For English debt help, see also:-

You may also be interested in considering the following related pages if you live in England:-

Accelerated Payment Notices & HMRC Aggressive Tax Demand Advice Glasgow Edinburgh & London

We understand that facing up to financial challenges can be extremely difficult and stressful. However, you should be reassured to know that there are options available and, with the right advice and support, you can take the necessary steps to improve your situation. For further information on Accelerated Payment Notices, please contact us at an office near you.


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