Opinion

Upping the ante with anti-avoidance

The Government has published draft legislation that aims to stop tax avoidance through the use of what HMRC calls 'disguised remuneration' arrangements.

The legislation is primarily aimed at family benefit trusts, sub-trusts and employer financed retirement benefit schemes and will take aim at those who use employee benefit trusts and the like to benefit those linked to them so that income tax or national insurance is avoided.

Whilst the legislation was framed to catch activities such as employee loans from being benefitted from until employment has stopped or the employees have gone overseas, it has been written quite widely so that it also catches some employee share plans.

Although the legislation is in draft form, it is meant to be in force from 1 April. You may want to take good advice if you operate an employee share scheme.

This was first published in January 2011

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