HCR Law Events

1 April 2020

Avoid the tax avoidance schemes

Returning NHS workers

HMRC have issued a new alert about tax avoidance schemes which are targeting returning NHS workers who are coming back into service to fight the Covid-19 pandemic.

These schemes are to be avoided – they are likely to leave those who get involved in them exposed to almost inevitable investigation by HMRC, exposed to potentially huge, life changing tax bills and interest, and in the worst cases, possibly engaged in fraud as well.

We see tax avoidance cases every day and they can prove life changing for their victims/users.

HMRC has not taken its eye off its core role in response to Covid-19; it is working hard to protect the national interest and its business continues as usual, including work to fight tax avoidance.

In the long term, the only people to benefit from these tax avoidance schemes targeting NHS workers will be the schemes’ promoters themselves. Promoters use arguably coercive, glossy marketing material to win clients, then take substantial fees for the schemes they sell, but this does not make them work.

In a nutshell, my advice to NHS workers is:

  • Do not let tax avoidance promoters exploit you.
  • If you think a scheme may work, seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified professional.
  • If you have already signed up to a tax avoidance scheme, do not let the same tax promoter exploit you further, or represent you in negotiations with HMRC. Instead, seek third-party professional advice, as soon as you can.

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About the Author
Sarah Woodall, Head of Tax, Partner (Barrister)

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