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HMRC pursues users of disguised remuneration schemes


Up to 100,000 people face financial penalties as a result of having used Employee Benefit Trusts to avoid paying all or some of their income tax. So-called “disguised remuneration” schemes were generally accepted to be legal in the early 2000s, and operated on the basis that employees' wages were paid into a trust which would then "loan" them their salary. But HMRC tightened the rules in 2010, issuing a “spotlight notice” to taxpayers and advisers indicating the schemes should not be used and would be considered as tax avoidance. Following a court victory against Rangers FC over the club’s use of similar structures to pay players and managers in the early 2000s, the Revenue is now pursuing others who partook in similar schemes – including some landlords, self-employed people and company directors. Anyone who still has a “loan” outstanding in April 2019 will face a “loan charge” from HMRC.

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