HMRC scores hat-trick

HM Revenue and Customs has secured three tribunal wins against tax avoidance schemes, protecting over £260 million in tax.

All three rulings uphold earlier judgments in HMRC’s favour at the First-tier Tribunal.

The Upper Tribunal dismissed an appeal brought by users of a scheme that sought to create artificial losses by using a combination of the employment Income and Capital Gains Tax rules on share options. The judges dismissed the appeal without needing to hear substantive arguments from HMRC, and indicated that written reasons would follow. There were 420 users of this scheme.

The Upper Tribunal also dismissed two other cases. These bespoke schemes were designed by banks to provide the users with a much higher tax-free return on their cash deposits than they could have obtained by placing funds in a normal deposit account. Both of these schemes were marketed and sold by banks some years ago for substantial fees. The court joined these two separate cases because of similarities between the schemes.