Finance Act 2022 grants HMRC various new powers to tackle tax avoidance with effect from 25 February 2022. These include:
- A power for HMRC to present a winding-up petition to the court for companies and partnerships operating against the public interest by promoting, managing or facilitating tax avoidance (section 85).
- Additional powers to publish information about tax avoidance schemes, persons suspected to be promoters of those schemes, those connected to them, and other persons involved in making the schemes available (section 86).
- A power for HMRC to seek an order to freeze the assets of persons where it has commenced, or is about to commence, proceedings for a penalty to be determined by the tribunal under the DOTAS, DASVOIT, POTAS and Enablers of Defeated Tax Avoidance regimes (sections 87-89).
- A power for HMRC to issue a penalty to UK-based entities that facilitate tax avoidance schemes involving non-resident promoters (section 91).
Other changes relating to tax avoidance and compliance that take effect from the date of Royal Assent include the following:
- Changes to the discovery assessment rules to allow HMRC to make good a loss of tax where it discovers that charges, including the high income child benefit charge, gift aid and certain pension charges, have not been accounted for (section 97).
- Returns under the new public interest business protection tax are first due within 30 days of the date of Royal Assent (section 67 and Schedule 10).
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