Tax avoidance and tax evasion

In recent years concerns as to the scale of mass marketed tax avoidance schemes have led to three major initiatives to undermine this market, and encourage a sea change in attitudes, both in the accountancy industry and its customers: the Disclosure of Tax Avoidance Schemes regime (DOTAS); the General Anti-Abuse Rule (GAAR); and the system of follower notices & accelerated payments. Following these initiatives the Government has continued to introduce provisions to tackle both tax avoidance and tax evasion, including measures in both the Spring & Autumn Budgets in 2017, and the 2018 Budget. This note provides an introduction to the issue of tax avoidance, looking in detail at the development of follower notices and accelerated payments, before discussing the current Government’s approach.

Tax avoidance and tax evasion
  • Research Briefing

    Tax avoidance: a General Anti-Abuse Rule

    UK tax law is specifically targeted rather than purposive: in tackling the exploitation of loopholes in the law, governments have legislated against individual avoidance schemes as and when these have come to light. This note looks at the case that has been made recently for a general anti-avoidance rule, and the Coalition Government's introduction of a 'narrower' General Anti-Abuse Rule in 2013.

  • Research Briefing

    Direct taxes: rates and allowances 2021/22

    This paper sets out direct tax rates and principal tax allowances for the 2021/22 tax year, as confirmed in the 2021 Budget on 3 March 2021. The paper outlines the conditions necessary for eligibility for these tax allowances, and provides a summary of the general tax position in straightforward cases.

  • Research Briefing

    Corporate tax reform (2010-2020)

    This note discusses the Coalition Government’s approach to corporate tax reform since 2010, focusing on the reductions made to the main rate, the decision to set a single rate of tax, and the reforms made to tax reliefs for capital investment. It goes on to examine the debate over corporate tax avoidance and the international efforts, led by the OECD, to tackle avoidance by multinationals through ‘Base Erosion and Profit Shifting’ (BEPS). It concludes by providing an update on these issues up to the end of 2020.

  • Research Briefing

    VAT on tourism

    This note gives a short introduction to the way VAT works, and the significance of EU VAT law has had for setting VAT rates, before discussing the campaign for a lower VAT rate on tourist services and the Government's introduction of a temporary reduced VAT rate for hospitality, holiday accommodation and attractions in July 2020.

  • Research Briefing

    Income tax allowances for married couples

    In general married couples are taxed as individuals, though a minority of older couples & civil partners may still claim a 'married couple's allowance'. Since 6 April 2015 individuals have been entitled to transfer part of their personal tax allowance to their spouse or civil partner, if neither they nor their partner are higher rate taxpayers.