Successful court action against stamp duty avoidance schemes has “protected” GBP400m (USD618.3m) of taxpayers’ money this year alone, according to the latest figures from HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC).
The Government has provided HMRC with nearly GBP1bn in additional funding to tackle tax avoidance, evasion and fraud. The extra money appears to be yielding results. For instance, last September, HMRC succeeded in preventing the avoidance of GBP170m in SDLT. In 2013, HMRC has emerged victorious from three court cases involving GBP7m, GBP135m, and GBP68m, respectively.
David Gauke, the Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury, welcomed HMRC’s latest triumph. In a case taken to the Court of Appeal last month, HMRC alleged that the company DV3 Regent Street Ltd had purchased a central London building and attempted to avoid payment of GBP2.6m in SDLT by selling the leasehold interest to a partnership in which it had a 98 percent interest. The judge ruled that while DV3 claimed to have devised a simple scheme for SDLT avoidance, it had merely shifted its SDLT obligations to the partnership.
“This case shows that HMRC will challenge the designers of tax avoidance schemes, and those who use them, taking them to the highest court in the land if necessary. This is another excellent win that will protect the money of hard-working taxpayers.”