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Belt tightening

As penniless politicians become increasingly hostile to trusts, tax planners are facing tough times ahead, say Rosamond McDowell and Ceri Norman-Short

19 October 2010

As part of its drive to get to grips with the budget deficit, the coalition government has clearly decided to continue the crackdown begun by their predecessors on so-called ‘tax avoidance schemes’.

In June’s ‘emergency’ budget, the coalition signalled its intention to continue the extension of the ‘disclosure of tax avoidance scheme regime’ (DOTAS) to inheritance tax (IHT) schemes.

The DOTAS regime, introduced in the Finance Act 2004 (FA), currently applies to schemes for the avoidance of income tax, corporation tax, capital gains tax, stamp duty land tax and national insurance contributions. Under the current legislation, a ‘scheme’ consists of an arrangement or plan falling within certain descriptions, under which a ‘tax advantage’ may be gained, and obtaining that tax advantage is the main benefit or one of the main benefits of that arrangement. (Note the wording does not require the tax advantage to be the main benefit, but only one of the mai...

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