Accelerated Payment Notices are here to stay

A claim was made by 154 members of Film Limited Liability Partnership schemes which were promoted by Ingenious Media PLC, made a case to the high court for judicial review over the legality of accelerated tax payment notices.

The claim has failed, opening the way for a HMRC to issue a further estimated 64,000 APN’s to individuals who have participated in tax avoidance schemes, by the end of 2016.

The legislation enacted last year following the budget gave HMRC the power to make tax payers pay any disputed sums of tax before any case was heard. Should the tax payer ultimately win the case the money would be refunded with interest.

David Richardson, Director of Counter Avoidance at HMRC commented; “This is an important result, and good news for the vast majority of taxpayers who do not try to avoid paying their fair share of tax.

Those who use tax avoidance schemes need to know they can no longer hold on to the money while their affairs are investigated. They have to pay their tax up front like everybody else.

We expect to complete the issue of around 64,000 notices tax by the end of 2016 bringing forward £5.5bn in payments for the Exchequer by March 2020.

HMRC wins 80% of all avoidance cases that people litigate, and many more are settling before things get to that stage.”

In 2014/15, around 10,000 APNs were issued generating £568 million (net after refunding £28 million following legal challenges).