HMRC has issued Spotlight 30: Gold Bullion Schemes. This features a disguised remuneration scheme.

Under this type of scheme:

  • An individual claims to be paid in the form of an asset such as gold bullion.
  • There is a theoretical obligation to pay the value of the asset to a trust at some point in the future.
  • It is claimed the obligation makes the payment non-taxable.

Legislation was announced in Budget 2016 to combat such schemes with immediate effect from 16 March 2016. 

In this Spotlight:

  • HMRC reiterate their view that such schemes don’t work. 
  • They have opened enquiries into users of such schemes and will continue to do so. 
  • They are also committed to pursuing users through the courts where necessary.

Taxpayers who have used such schemes should also make themselves aware of the wider changes announced in Budget 2016 to tackle disguised remuneration.  Legislation has been introduced to ensure that all loans, debts or obligations arising from disguised remuneration schemes will be taxed as earnings if not already taxed or repaid by 5 April 2019.

An email address is provided for taxpayers who wish to get out of a gold bullion scheme before HMRC challenges the arrangements in court and who don’t have a contact.


HMRC Spotlight 30

Anti-avoidance: HMRC's spotlights for HMRC’s other spotlights

Finance Bill 2016: tax update and rolling planner (subscribers) to keep track of disguised remuneration developments