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Tax relief for losses: consultation

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HMRC are seeking views on how to ensure that genuine losses incurred in business or employment are relieved against income or gains while deterring taxpayers from entering into tax avoidance arrangements intended to exploit the reliefs.

‘We are open to views on the current form of the reliefs and how they could be improved or simplified in a way that provides certainty but minimises tax avoidance opportunities,’ HMRC said.

The department has identified the deduction of losses from general income or capital gains as a ‘high risk’ area of the tax code. An initial review found that the reliefs carry a high risk of being ‘misused for tax avoidance’.

HMRC believe that the scale and variety of avoidance arrangements involving ‘income tax losses’ would require a more comprehensive solution than the proposed listing in regulations of high-risk schemes could provide.

Comments are invited by 30 September.