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Anti-Avoidance Provision

Volume 578: debated on Thursday 3 April 2014

The Government are fully committed to tackling tax and national insurance avoidance and will take the necessary steps to protect the Exchequer and maintain fairness in the tax system.

We have introduced legislation which amends the agency legislation in the Social Security (Categorisation of Earners) Regulations 1978 (“the 1978 regulations”) to tackle avoidance, through false self-employment facilitated by intermediaries, of national insurance contributions (“NICs”). We have also introduced legislation, in the Finance Bill 2014, to tackle the same problem in relation to income tax.

The amendments to the 1978 regulations will come into force on 6 April 2014, as will the legislation relating to income tax (Budget Resolution No. 11, recorded in the Votes and Proceedings of the House of Commons for 25 March 2014).

The income tax legislation is supported by a targeted anti-avoidance rule (“TAAR”) which is intended to ensure that those workers who would be employees, but for the imposition of artificially constructed intermediary arrangements, are treated as employees for the purposes of tax.

I am today announcing that we intend to introduce a TAAR for NICs, with retrospective effect to 6 April 2014, at the next available legislative opportunity. This will support the 1978 regulations and ensure that those workers who would be employed earners but for the imposition of artificially constructed intermediary arrangements are also treated as employed earners for the purposes of NICs.

The TAAR for NICs will follow the TAAR for income tax, details of which can be found at clause 6, section 46A of the Finance Bill 2014 which was introduced into the House of Commons on 27 March 2014.