HMRC have announced that they have secured almost all of the disputed tax due from the first group of tax avoidance scheme users to receive Accelerated Payment notices (APNs). An APN forces the taxpayer to make payment to HMRC of tax currently under dispute within 90 days of being issued with a notice. APNs are being introduced to counteract the perceived cash flow advantage for the taxpayer of holding onto the disputed tax during an avoidance dispute.
Approximately 30 scheme users were advised in August 2014 that they had 90 days to pay a total of around £29 million of disputed tax upfront under the new Accelerated Payments regime.
HMRC have announced that over 99% of this money was paid within the deadline, with several payment arrangements also in place. HMRC have received £32 million in disputed tax to date.
Financial Secretary to the Treasury David Gauke said:
'The high success rate for the first set of Accelerated Payments notices shows avoidance scheme users are having to face up to the reality that they should pay their tax upfront, like the vast majority of taxpayers.
As we move into 2015 and HMRC ramps up the number of notices it sends out, thousands more will get the message that Accelerated Payments has changed the economics of tax avoidance.'
Jennie Granger, Director General for Enforcement and Compliance, HMRC, said:
'These results show HMRC is making good progress in tackling marketed tax avoidance. If anyone is concerned about being able to pay an Accelerated Payment notice, they should contact us as soon as possible to discuss their options.'
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