Do you have an Employee Benefit Trust which is under enquiry from HMRC? If so, now is the time to consider your options in detail.
HMRC are closing access to the EBT Settlement Opportunity (EBTSO) as of 31 March 2015. Through the EBTSO tax liabilities can be settled with HMRC under beneficial terms.
As an added pressure Accelerated Payment Notices (APNs) are now being actively issued by HMRC. These require users of tax avoidance schemes to make upfront payments of tax in case of dispute.
If you have an EBT with unresolved HMRC enquiries regarding the payment of PAYE and INC, being forced to make a payment to HMRC is increasingly likely. With politicians and the media regularly commenting on tax avoidance schemes it appears unlikely that HMRC will reverse their policy of litigating against EBTs.
We recommend taking an informed decision over your next steps:
- We can help you calculate the likely cost of a settlement compared with payment of the APN and potential litigation.
- We can consider your particular situation and see whether the settlement cost could be reduced through the use of available tax reliefs.
- If you decide to utilise the EBTSO we may also be able to help you agree a “time to pay” agreement, which may be more attractive than the APN’s 90 day payment terms.
Given the beneficial terms of the EBTSO it is likely that the cost of settling will be significantly less than the amount due on an APN. We therefore urge you to seriously consider registering interest for the EBTSO before the deadline passes on 31 March 2015.
If you would like more information, please do not hesitate to contact Alastair Wilson, Chris Hodgson or Louise Barker on 0191 285 0321.