The government has launched two new consultations dealing with tax avoidance, ‘Tackling promoters of tax avoidance’ and ‘Call for evidence: Tackling Disguised Remuneration tax avoidance.’

At a glance

The changes suggested were first announced in December 2019 as part of the government’s response to Sir Amyas Morse’s Independent Review of the Loan Charge. At Budget 2020 the Government announced that the measures would be taken forward in Finance Bill 2020-21.

Consultation: Tackling promoters of tax avoidance

  • In March 2020 HMRC launched a policy paper 'Tackling promoters of mass-marketed tax avoidance schemes' where it set out its strategy for dealing with scheme promoters by strengthening its powers, disrupting promoters supply chains, and deterring taxpayers from taking up such schemes.
  • Also in March 2020 'Call for evidence: raising standards in the tax advice market' was launched seeking views and suggestions on how to raise standards in the tax advice market.

This latest consultation has been released alongside draft legislation as part of draft Finance Bill 2020-21 which includes proposed measures to allow HMRC to achieve the strategy set out in March, by:

  • Issuing stop notices to promoters under the Promoters of Tax Avoidance Scheme (POTAS) rules earlier by changing the notice conditions, stopping the scheme from being sold whilst they investigate it.
  • Challenging the individuals behind corporate promoters to stop them avoiding the POTAS rules by operating through complex corporate structures.
  • Using Schedule 36 powers to obtain information about enablers of abusive schemes as soon as they are identified instead of having to wait until they are defeated by HMRC.
  • Ensuring penalties can be issued and enablers can be named without delay.
  • Acting quickly where promoters fail to provide information on schemes under the Disclosure of Tax Avoidance Schemes (DOTAS) rules.
  • Making changes to the General Anti Abuse Rule (GAAR) to ensure that it can be used as intended to counteract avoidance schemes marketed at partnerships.

The consultation asks 35 questions to ascertain views on the proposals and seeks responses by 15 September 2020, to be sent toThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Call for evidence: Tackling Disguised Remuneration tax avoidance

The government is also seeking views on what drives the continuing use of Disguised remuneration (DR) schemes, and what further action they might take to deal with them. Between April 2019 and May 2020, HMRC identified over 45 schemes being marketed, aimed at individuals and designed to avoid tax on employment income.

The call for evidence considers and seeks opinions about:

  • How to disrupt and deter promoters of DR schemes and especially those who are offshore, stop schemes at their source and encourage taxpayers to report schemes or promoters.
  • Supply chains: should there be more onus on intermediaries such as employment agencies, umbrella companies or engagers, to stop people being drawn into using schemes?
  • Behaviours; should the government be doing more to ensure taxpayers understand the risks of entering DR schemes and steer clear of them?
  • How can HMRC best support scheme users to exit schemes and settle their tax liabilities?
  • Any other areas where the government can act to stop the use of schemes.

No draft legislation is yet available for these proposed measures.

The call for evidence invites responses to the 21 questions asked by 30 September 2020 to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


Promoters of Tax Avoidance Schemes (POTAS) 
The Promoters of Tax Avoidance Schemes (POTAS) rules were introduced by Finance Act 2014 with the aim of changing the behaviour of promoters of tax avoidance schemes and deterring the development and use of such schemes.

Disguised remuneration loan charge (subscriber guide)
What is disguised remuneration? What is the loan charge? When does the loan charge apply? Will the loan charge affect me?

Schedule 36 Information Notices (subscriber guide)
What is a Schedule 36 Information Notice? When can HMRC issue one? What rights does the taxpayer have when an information notice is issued?

External links

Consultation: ‘Tackling promoters of tax avoidance’ 

Policy paper: 'New Proposals for tackling enables and supporters of tax avoidance schemes'

Draft legislation 

Policy paper: 'Tackling promoters of mass-marketed tax avoidance schemes' 

Call for evidence: 'Raising standards in the tax advice market'

'Tackling Disguised Remuneration tax avoidance’: Call for evidence