HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) says it has secured almost all the disputed tax due from the first group of tax avoidance scheme users to receive accelerated payment notices.
About 30 people were told in late August they had 90 days to pay a total of around £29 million of disputed tax up front under the new accelerated payments regime. HMRC said on 13 December that more than 99 per cent of this money had been paid within the deadline.
Financial Secretary to the Treasury David Gauke said on 13 December: “The high success rate for the first set of accelerated payment 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, HMRC’s director general for enforcement and compliance, 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.”
So far, HMRC has issued more than 1,750 accelerated payment notices, together covering tax to the value of £400 million and most of which have yet to reach the 90-day payment deadline. From January 2015, HMRC plans to issue 2,500 accelerated payment notices each month.
The notices can only be issued to people with an open enquiry or appeal who have taken part in tax avoidance schemes that had to be notified to HMRC under the Disclosure of Tax Avoidance Scheme (DOTAS) rules.