Tax Avoidance

Treasury written question – answered on 29th October 2012.

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Photo of David Anderson David Anderson Labour, Blaydon

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will set up a review to assess the merits of setting up a tax avoidance system wherein all such schemes would be illegal without prior agreement by his Department.

Photo of David Gauke David Gauke The Exchequer Secretary

The vast majority of people and businesses in the UK do not try to avoid their tax and HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) is very successful at tackling the small minority who do. HMRC is able to deploy a range of approaches to prevent, detect and counteract tax avoidance—and the Government are looking to strengthen its hand further by, for example, enhancing the Disclosure of Tax Avoidance Schemes rules and developing the UK's first general anti-abuse rule (GAAR). Once introduced, the GAAR will act as a powerful deterrent to those engaging in abusive avoidance schemes. Where such schemes persist, it will also improve HMRC's means of tackling them effectively.

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