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HMRC lists ‘10 things to know about avoidance’

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HMRC has issued a list of ‘10 things a tax avoidance scheme promoter won’t always tell you’ which sets out the risks that people face when they sign up to a tax avoidance scheme and includes not only the possible monetary costs and reputational damage of tax avoidance, but also a potential criminal conviction – as well as the assertion that ‘HMRC is likely to beat your scheme in court’.

This list is being published as HMRC writes to the first promoters who will be caught by new high-risk promoters rules in FA 2014. HMRC said that it could name them publically and fines might be imposed of up to £1m ‘if they don’t change their behaviour’. Financial secretary to the Treasury David Gauke said: ‘To help protect taxpayers from unscrupulous promoters we have put in place new high-risk promoters rules, but people need to be aware of the dangers. I would strongly advise anyone thinking of signing up to a scheme which they have been told will legally reduce their tax bill to carefully consider today's list of things a promoter may not tell you.’