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Spotlights: a warning

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HMRC has emphasised that it never ‘approves’ tax avoidance schemes. Some promoters or introducers for certain schemes are advertising products as ‘HMRC approved’, the department said.

‘The fact that a tax avoidance scheme has been disclosed to HMRC and has been given a Scheme Reference Number (SRN) in no way implies that approval for its use has been given,’ HMRC said.

HMRC’s Spotlights page states: ‘Please note that the issue of a SRN does not mean either that HMRC "approves" the scheme or that HMRC accept that the scheme achieves its intended tax advantage. These articles are limited exceptions to the usual rule that HMRC do not comment on tax avoidance. No further comment will be made.’