EBT schemes –extra time to settle with HMRC !

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Spotlight 31 explains that transitional relief on investment growth is being extended to 31 March 2017

The government has announced an amendment to Finance Bill 2016 and has publishedSpotlight 31: change of date for withdrawal of transitional relief on investment growth to explain why this is being done.

The change will affect anyone who has used a disguised remuneration avoidance scheme, such as those involving an Employee Benefit Trust (EBT) or contractor loans. In effect it will allow more time for them to reach a settlement with HMRC and benefit from transitional relief on investment growth.

The Finance Bill 2016 amendment will extend the date for withdrawal of transitional relief on investment growth, available under para 59, Sch 2, Finance Act 2011, from 30 November 2016 to 31 March 2017.

The transitional relief was intended to work alongside the EBT settlement opportunity, which closed in 2015. The withdrawal of the relief was announced at the March 2016 Budget.

However, the government wants to ensure all users of disguised remuneration schemes have the opportunity to settle with HMRC before the transitional relief in para 59 is withdrawn. Users who want to benefit from the relief must have settled on or before 31 March 2017.

HMRC continues to believe that disguised remuneration schemes do not work, and will challenge them rigorously. Any employer or trustee who has used such a scheme should take specialist tax advice and consider whether to seek a settlement with HMRC.

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