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HMRC v Opus Bestpay Ltd

In HMRC v Opus Bestpay Ltd [2020] UKFTT 408 (TC) (18 August 2020) the First-tier Tribunal found that the taxpayer company (OBL) had made available a standardised tax avoidance scheme to participants and it was a promoter of notifiable arrangements under the DOTAS rules.

Under the arrangements participants would contract to provide services to a trust in return for a fee (payable only when the trust was satisfied that all contractual obligations had been fulfilled) and a monthly £1 000 retainer. The participants also entered into a credit facility with an Anguilla company which provided them with loans secured against their rights to receipts from the services provided under the trust contracts.

The participants declared the retainer as taxable income in their tax returns but not the loans – on the basis that the latter were not taxable.

HMRC applied to the FTT for an order...

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