Commentary

A7.411 GAAR—Scope and definitions

Administration and compliance

A7.411 GAAR—Scope and definitions

A7.411 GAAR—Scope and definitions

The GAAR is another element of HMRC's approach to tackling tax avoidance and is not intended to replace or supersede targeted anti-avoidance rules or any obligations under DOTAS (see A7.410). It has effect generally in relation to any tax arrangements entered into on or after 17 July 2013. Where the tax arrangements under consideration form part of other arrangements entered into before 17 July 2013, those other arrangements should be ignored in determining whether the tax arrangements in question are abusive1.

The GAAR provides for the counteraction of tax advantages arising from arrangements that are abusive and applies to2:

  1.  

    •     income tax

  2.  

    •     corporation tax (including amounts chargeable/treated as corporation tax)

  3.  

    •     capital gains tax

  4.  

    •     petroleum revenue tax

  5.  

    •     inheritance tax

  6.  

    •     stamp duty land tax

  7.  

    •     annual tax on enveloped dwellings

  8.  

    •     National Insurance contributions (NICs), from 13 March 2014 (see E8.1160)3

  9.  

    •     diverted profits tax, from 1 April 2015 (see D2.701)4

  10.  

    •     the apprenticeship levy, from 6 April 2016 (see E4.11300)5

HMRC's guidance on the GAAR is available on their website (GAAR Guidance) and is organised in series of parts (A to E). Each part considers a different aspect of what taxpayers may need to know about the GAAR. The guidance was last updated with effect from 16 July 2021 (although Part D, dated 11 September 2020, remains unchanged). The update reflects changes in the application of the GAAR to partnerships (see A7.410)6.

Earlier versions of the GAAR guidance can be accessed at the same url

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