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Examining HMRC's EBT settlement opportunity

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HMRC’s employee benefit trust settlement opportunity (EBTSO) was published in 2011 in an effort to clear a significant backlog of ongoing enquiries into legacy EBT arrangements. However, the potential benefits of settling with HMRC were not initially clear or widely understood. HMRC has recently issued a frequently asked questions document which seeks to clarify its view on certain important policy issues that have arisen from discussions across a number of cases and summarises how certain other issues would be treated under the EBTSO. While advisers and employers may disagree with HMRC’s technical analysis across the various taxes that are in point, this should not in itself preclude a detailed assessment of the potential benefits of the EBTSO in individual cases. It can be complex, but in many cases the EBTSO can provide both employers and beneficiaries with a very good outcome.

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