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HMRC victory on stamp duty dodge

Regulations have also been laid that will force users of a wider range of stamp duty land tax (SDLT) avoidance schemes to disclose them to HMRC.

The new rules will give HMRC much better access to information about these avoidance schemes and those who promote and use them. They can then be challenged and closed down more quickly.

HMRC’s Director General of Business Tax, Jim Harra, said: "This victory at the First Tier Tribunal sends a clear message to tax avoiders that we will challenge avoidance relentlessly. The decision is good news for the vast majority of taxpayers who pay, rather than try to dodge, their taxes. It shows that the courts will see through arrangements which are put in place just to avoid tax.

"People who are tempted by tax advisers to enter into avoidance schemes should think twice and not be driven by greed into signing up for schemes that are just too good to be true."

Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury David Gauke said: "This Government has been clear that when someone buys a house in the UK they must pay Stamp Duty. At the Budget we announced a number of steps that we are taking to crack down on people who try to avoid this responsibility. Today’s legislation will mean that HMRC will have access to more information about property tax avoidance. They will not hesitate to use it to close down avoidance schemes.

"The Government is totally committed to tackling this kind of tax avoidance scheme and HMRC will take cases through the courts whenever necessary."

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