HMRC has announced that it is ending its Employee Benefit Trust (EBT) Settlement Opportunity (EBTSO) on 31 March 2015, with a final agreement date of 31 July 2015. 

Terms for the ending of the EBTSO are:

Withdrawal on 31 March 2015

Employers who set up an EBT before 6 April 2011 must notify HMRC by 31 March 2015 if they wish to take advantage of the beneficial terms of the EBT Settlement Opportunity (EBTSO) to settle the resulting PAYE and NICs liabilities.

The EBTSO will only be available to employers who have notified HMRC of their intention to settle under the EBTSO before 31 March 2015. Agreements that are subsequently entered into must be made between employer and HMRC before 31 July 2015 with all amounts due under the settlement agreement either paid by that date or with a signed time to pay agreement in place.

Settlements after 31 March 2015

If an employer notifies HMRC after 31 March 2015 that they wish to settle, HMRC will continue to settle appeals by way of agreement where appropriate but not on the beneficial terms of the EBTSO. This will mean an increase in the amount on which HMRC is prepared to settle and which, in some cases, could be significant.

Part 7a ITEPA 2003 was introduced by the second 2011 Finance Act, the effect has been to prevent employers creating EBT schemes for the benefit of employees.

HMRC says that 700 employers have used the EBTSO but it was never intended to make it an open ended settlement.

See Disguised Remuneration final settlement opportunity for current settlements involving EBT's.