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Tax Avoidance

Volume 476: debated on Tuesday 20 May 2008

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many tax avoidance schemes have been disclosed to HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC); and how many of those have been (a) accepted and (b) rejected by HMRC. (206196)

The numbers of disclosures received under both the direct and indirect tax disclosure regimes are published on the HMRC internet every six months. The latest statistics showing figures to 31 March 2008 can be accessed using the following link:-

http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/avoidance/avoidance-disclosure-statistics.htm

The regime is a tool which is intended to provide HMRC with early information in order to identify and counteract the use of avoidance schemes so that the Government can legislate quickly to close any loopholes. The regime requires avoidance promoters to provide HMRC with details of schemes that fall within certain descriptions within five days of them being made available or implemented. It does not incorporate any acceptance or rejection type process. A disclosure would only be declined if it were made in error, for example if it concerned matters outside the scope of the disclosure regime.