Commentary

V5.213 Disclosure of indirect tax avoidance schemes (DOITAS) (from 1 January 2018)

Part V5 Compliance, enforcement and appeals

V5.213 Disclosure of indirect tax avoidance schemes (DOITAS) (from 1 January 2018)

Disclosure of tax avoidance schemes

V5.213 Disclosure of indirect tax avoidance schemes (DOITAS) (from 1 January 2018)

In July 2014, HMRC published a consultation document1 entitled 'Strengthening the Tax Avoidance Disclosure Regimes' which sought views primarily on the operation of the Disclosure of Tax Avoidance Schemes (DOTAS) regime, the direct tax equivalent of the scheme described above. The consultation did, however, refer to the VAT disclosure regime and welcomed views on ways of (a) ensuring that VAT avoidance disclosures were made in line with the policy objectives; (b) achieving consistency and fairness between the disclosure of VAT avoidance schemes and schemes designed to avoid other taxes; and (c) minimising the administrative burden on businesses other than those who design and promote avoidance and their clients. Subsequently it was announced2 that 'as announced at Budget 2016 and following consultation, legislation will be introduced in Finance Bill 2017 to strengthen the regime for disclosure of avoidance of indirect tax. Provision will be made to make scheme promoters primarily responsible for disclosing schemes to HMRC and the scope of the regime will be extended to include all indirect taxes. This will have effect from 1 September 2017.' The draft legislation3 duly appeared in Finance Bill 2017. However, the relevant provisions were withdrawn following the announcement of a general election to be held on 8 June 2017. They were subsequently reintroduced, with minor modifications and a revised effective date of 1 January 2018, in Finance (No 2) Act 2017, and are described below.

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