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Accelerated Payments

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Newsletter issue - August 2014

The Taxman now has the power to demand tax from you if you have used a registered tax avoidance scheme, or if he thinks the tax scheme you have used is similar to one that has been judged to fail by a Court or Tribunal.

For some years most tax avoidance schemes have been registered under the Disclosure Of Tax Avoidance Scheme (DOTAS) rules. Each scheme was issued with a DOTAS reference number, known as a "DOTAS number" or SRN, which had to be shown on tax returns of taxpayers who used the scheme.

If you were advised to include a DOTAS number on your tax return, and HMRC has already opened an enquiry into that tax return you should watch the post for a tax demand headed "Accelerated Payment Notice". This could arrive at anytime from now until April 2016.

If you receive an accelerated payment notice you can't appeal against it, but you can ask HMRC to reconsider the amount demanded within 90 days. We can help you with this.

You may also want to consider some other options such as:

  • negotiating a settlement with HMRC to resolve the dispute over the tax scheme you used - there may well be interest and penalties to pay.
  • asking the Tax Tribunal to close the enquiry into your tax return - this is an option if you really believe the tax you avoided is not due, i.e., the scheme works; or
  • asking for a payment arrangement in which you agree to pay the tax demanded by instalments.

We should discuss the consequences of paying the accelerated tax demand on the rest of your tax affairs; will you be able to meet your other tax liabilities when they are due?