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‘Disguised remuneration’ measures to be relaxed

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Deferred bonus arrangements meeting certain conditions are to be excluded from proposed measures to tackle income tax and NIC avoidance by means of ‘disguised remuneration’.

The government will propose changes to the draft Finance Bill 2011 provisions in order to ‘limit impacts on employers and individuals where it is possible to identify arrangements that cannot be used for avoidance purposes’, HMRC said.

‘The draft legislation is incredibly wide and has been accused of “taxing thin air”, said Eversheds partner Danny Blum. ‘Most controversially, it levies tax on benefits which have not yet been received, or indeed may never be received, and is a particular issue in the context of mandatory deferral arrangements imposed by the FSA's remuneration code.’

HMRC received more than 50 responses to the consultation launched in December. The draft legislation is now ‘subject to amendment’ as set out in 33 questions and answers posted on the HMRC website yesterday.