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High risk promoters

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Following consultation, the government has now put in place the final set of regulations made under powers in FA 2014 regarding promoters of high risk tax avoidance schemes. The Finance Act 2014 (High Risk Promoters Prescribed Information) Regulations, SI 2015/549, which come into force on 27 March 2015, set out the information that ‘monitored’ promoters of tax avoidance schemes, their clients and intermediaries, must publicise and report to HMRC in connection with their monitored status. A change from the consultation draft makes clear that promoters may redact copies of documents where necessary to preserve legal professional privilege. Further measures to strengthen the regime are proposed for FB 2015.

This is the third of three sets of regulations needed to support the high-risk promoters legislation in FA 2014. Regulations providing for exclusion from the regime of certain in-house advisers and setting out the conditions for conduct notices are contained in The Promoters of Tax Avoidance Schemes (Prescribed Circumstances under Section 235) Regulations, SI 2015/130, and The Finance Act 2014 (Schedule 34 Prescribed Matters) Regulations, SI 2015/131, which both came into force on 2 March.

HMRC says it has already written to a number of promoters warning them of the consequences if they don’t change their behaviour, and has also sent the first conduct notice, which requires a promoter to change its ways.