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HMRC pockets £32m from tax avoidance scheme users

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HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has secured almost all of the disputed tax due from the first group of tax avoidance scheme users to receive Accelerated Payment notices.

Some 30 scheme users were told in August they had 90 days to pay a total of around £29m of disputed tax upfront under the new Accelerated Payments regime.

The regime, unveiled at Budget 2013, is designed to remove the current advantage enjoyed by taxpayers of holding onto any disputed tax during an avoidance dispute.

HMRC said more than 99 per cent of this money was paid within the deadline. Taking into account other payments, it has received £32m in disputed tax to date.

Financial secretary to the Treasury David Gauke said: “The high success rate for the first set of Accelerated Payments notices shows avoidance scheme users are having to face up to the reality that they should pay their tax upfront, like the vast majority of taxpayers.

“As we move into 2015 and HMRC ramps up the number of notices it sends out, thousands more will get the message that Accelerated Payments has changed the economics of tax avoidance.”

Jennie Granger, director general for enforcement and compliance at HMRC, added: “These results show HMRC is making good progress in tackling marketed tax avoidance.”

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