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Today’s Top Headlines

HMRC Welcomes Latest Anti-Avoidance Victory

by Robert Lee,, London

05 February 2014

HM Revenue and Customs' (HMRC) latest court victory is "excellent news for the vast majority of taxpayers who play by the rules," the Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury has said.

David Gauke welcomed the most recent in "a string of successes," describing the Court of Appeal's ruling as "an important win for HMRC."

The case involved the transfer of UK government bonds (or "gilts") backwards and forwards to the British Virgin Islands, a device HMRC claims was intended to "manufacture an unwarranted tax deduction." The scheme was allegedly pitched to the very wealthy, and, according to the Court, was specifically designed to avoid tax.

230 individuals participated in the scheme, which was first marketed as early as 2005. Some of this group have now settled their bills with HMRC, with the total paid standing at around GBP20m (USD32.9m). Had an appeal by the scheme's promoters been successful, a further GBP80m could have been lost to the Exchequer.

TAGS: individuals | court | tax | tax avoidance | revenue guidance | United Kingdom | Virgin Islands | tax authority | tax planning | tax rates | HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) | revenue statistics | tax reform | HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) | British Virgin Islands

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