DOTAS - what is a notifiable scheme?

By Tolley

The following Personal Tax guidance note by Tolley provides comprehensive and up to date tax information covering:

  • DOTAS - what is a notifiable scheme?
  • General
  • Income tax, corporation tax, capital gains tax and NIC
  • Inheritance tax (IHT)
  • Stamp duty land tax (SDLT)
  • Annual tax on enveloped dwellings (ATED)


The DOTAS rules do not include a definition of an avoidance scheme, instead they focus on whether a scheme is ‘notifiable’. A scheme can be something that it is described as such but the rules apply equally to any arrangements. This guidance note uses the term ‘scheme’ to cover both.

A ‘scheme’ is notifiable if it is expected, or can reasonably be expected:

  • to deliver an advantage in relation to any tax
  • that advantage is the main benefit or one of the main benefits of the scheme, and
  • that it carries certain ‘hallmarks’ or contains specified features

FA 2004, s 306; SI 2006/1543

The taxes covered by the DOTAS regime are:

  • income tax
  • corporation tax
  • capital gains tax (CGT)
  • national insurance contributions (NIC)
  • inheritance tax (IHT)
  • stamp duty land tax (SDLT)
  • annual tax on enveloped dwellings (ATED)

FA 2004, s 318

A separate disclosure regime applies to value-added tax (VAT). See the Anti-avoidance - introduction guidance note in the VAT module (subscription sensitive).

Note that the DOTAS regime does not apply to the devolved Scottish taxes: land and buildings transaction tax (LBTT) or Scottish landfill tax (SLFT). There is no disclosure regime in respect of these taxes.

This guidance note considers whether a scheme is notifiable in relation to the various taxes. For a summary of the DOTAS regime, see the Disclosure of tax avoidance schemes (DOTAS) – overview guidance note. For details of the action which end users of the scheme must take, see the DOTAS – what end users must do guidance note.

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