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ICAEW reiterates support for tackling disguised remuneration

5 October: ICAEW has reaffirmed its support of HMRC’s efforts to understand and challenge disguised remuneration tax avoidance, while highlighting that those involved in marketing such schemes are not equivalent to bona fide tax advisers.

In its response to HMRC’s call for evidence on disguised remuneration tax avoidance (ICAEW Rep 79/20) ICAEW sought to echo the messages conveyed in ICAEW Rep 69/20 Tackling promoters of tax avoidance and ICAEW Rep 45/20 Raising standards in the tax advice market: call for evidence.

ICAEW repeated its view that those involved in the mass-marketed avoidance schemes under discussion should not be considered equivalent to bona fide tax advisers. This is particularly pertinent to disguised remuneration schemes. Given the vast amount of specific anti-avoidance measures in place, ICAEW would not expect any of its members to be involved in the implementation of such arrangements.

The evidence suggests the use of these schemes by companies has declined considerably and ICAEW understands the issue lies more with individual participants. ICAEW suggests that it would therefore be helpful to understand what more could be done in this market and that it might be beneficial to consult other jurisdictions to understand how these issues are managed.

In its response, ICAEW also argues that working more closely with the authorities of the UK’s dependant territories would also be advisable, as it cannot be right that this type of abusive activity is allowed to take place within them.

ICAEW will continue to work with HMRC to understand how any resulting new measures will work in practice.