Tax Avoidance

Treasury written question – answered on 24th February 2014.

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Photo of Austin Mitchell Austin Mitchell Labour, Great Grimsby

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many people employed by large accountancy firms were (a) involved in and (b) consulted on the draft general anti-abuse rule regulations and whether the draft proposals were circulated to the Big Four accountancy firms before publication.

Photo of David Gauke David Gauke The Exchequer Secretary

HM Revenue and Customs had the benefit of five secondees from the legal and accountancy profession in developing the general anti-abuse rule (GAAR). They provided very valuable expertise in helping to ensure that the GAAR legislation meets the Government’s clearly stated objectives, in drafting the guidance and designing the procedures.

The consultation document was publicly available and a number of accountancy firms were among the 169 substantive responses.

HMRC engages regularly with business and tax professionals, and this included discussions about the GAAR at all stages of its development. The published consultations were formal, public processes open to all on an equal basis—no representations or responses were sought on the proposals before their publication.

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