Among many other well publicised initiatives to reduce tax avoidance activity the Government will be increasing the resources of HMRC with a view to:
• Dealing more effectively with avoidance schemes
• Expanding HMRC’s Affluent Unit to deal more effectively with taxpayers with a net worth of more than £1 million
• Increasing specialist resources to tackle offshore evasion and avoidance of inheritance tax, using offshore trusts, bank accounts and other entities; and
• Improving technology to help counter tax avoidance/evasion.
Other areas that the Government will be actively engaged in are:
• The introduction of the General Anti-Abuse Rule (GAAR). This will provide a significant new deterrent to people establishing abusive avoidance schemes and strengthen HMRC’s means of tackling them.
• Consulting on the introduction of significant new information disclosure and penalty powers to target the promoters of aggressive tax avoidance schemes
• As announced in the Budget 2012, with effect from 6 April 2013, the Government will cap all previously unlimited personal income tax reliefs at the greater of £50,000 and 25% of an individual’s income. Charitable reliefs will be exempt from this cap as will tax-relievable investments that are already subject to a cap eg pensions, ISA, VCT and EIS.