Commentary

A7.412 GAAR—Counteractions and provisional counteractions

Administration and compliance

A7.412 GAAR—Counteractions and provisional counteractions

A7.412 GAAR—Counteractions and provisional counteractions

Where tax arrangements are considered abusive, the tax advantages arising from them are counteracted by making adjustments which impose or increase the tax liability where there would otherwise be either none or a lower liability.

There ways in which tax advantages can be counteracted under the GAAR are by:

  1.  

    •     a self-assessment adjustment by the taxpayer, or

  2.  

    •     filing of accounts and payment of tax (in the case of IHT), or

  3.  

    •     through counteraction by HMRC

Such adjustments may be made in respect of either the tax in question or any other tax to which the GAAR applies, by way of an1:

  1.  

    •     assessment, or

  2.  

    •     amendment to an assessment, or

  3.  

    •     amendment to a claim

Prerequisites to counteractions

HMRC can make an adjustment before the GAAR procedural requirements have been satisfied (see A7.413). However the effect of the adjustment is suspended until the GAAR procedural requirements have been completed2.

Prior to the enactment of the Finance Act 2020 on 22 July 2020, no adjustments could be made by HMRC until HMRC had complied with the relevant procedural requirements. This sometimes meant that statutory time limits (eg for enquiries, see A6.401) could expire before the procedural requirements of the GAAR had been met.

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