So you think you can avoid the taxman…?

HMRC has saved the taxpayer an estimated £200m by taking three tax avoidance schemes to the courts – and winning all of its cases.

The first case involved a scheme that addressed capital gains tax and which, according to HRMC, prevented around £90m finding its way to the treasury.

The second case involved the directors of investment firm, Sloane Robinson, who threw money at companies that paid investors when the companies went into liquidation. There was some modification to the scheme as legislation changed, but it has been completely annihilated now.

The third case involved a scheme that exploited the lack of cohesion between two tax regimes – and which cost the taxpayer around £100m.

Jim Harra, Director-General of HMRC has warned anyone thinking of becoming involved in any similar schemes, that they are running huge risks – not only of being pursued by the taxman, but of losing thousands of pounds because none of these schemes come cheap.