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Labour call for Anti-avoidance Law 26/09/12

Labour MP Michael Meacher is to table a Private Member's Bill that hopes to stop tax avoidance “for good”.

The Bill is an attempt to create the first General Anti-Tax Avoidance Principle in UK tax law.

The proposed Bill comes as the consultation ends on the government’s planned general anti-abuse rule (GAAR), which is designed to tackle “aggressive” tax avoidance.

Critics of the proposed GAAR, say that it isn’t tough enough and won’t make much difference in countering abuse of the tax system.

Stuart Coleman, Manager of the Tax Department of ABDS comments:
“Unlike the government’s GAAR, the new Anti-Avoidance Bill covers VAT and national insurance. It also clamps down on people who shift income from one tax to another in order to reduce their tax bill.”

The Bill would not stop any tax measures that are encouraged by law and would let taxpayers tell HMRC what they're proposing and ask for clearance. But, if it looks like tax is being paid by the wrong person, the wrong amount, the wrong time or even in the wrong place, HMRC would have the power to challenge the arrangements under the Bill.

Mark Serwotka, general secretary of the Public and Commercial Services union, welcomed the proposed bill. "If this bill became law it would give our members who work for HM Revenue and Customs the tools they need to properly tackle the tax dodgers. But the government must back this up with an immediate halt to its seriously damaging plans to cut a further 10,000 jobs from HMRC in the coming years."

This Bill is a Private Member’s Bill, and was presented to Parliament through the ballot procedure on 20 June 2012 and is expected to have its adjourned second reading on 19 October 2012

If you need any help and advice for your Tax and the implications of the HMRC initiatives, contact Lavinia Newman, Stuart Coleman or Tonmoy Kumar to discuss how ABDS can help

Tel: 023 8083 6900  E-mail:

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