Taxman set for more time to hunt dodgers

 
Tim Wallace
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THE TAXMAN could be given more time to tackle tax avoiders in a new government drive to stop aggressive strategies from creative accountants reducing the government’s revenues, tax firm Baker Tilly predicted yesterday.

Chancellor George Osborne may well use his budget next week to highlight his drive to stop rich individuals and firms from finding ways around the tax system to pay very little.

Recent cases have seen HMRC battle cases successfully through the courts, shutting down schemes ruled illegal – but too late to recover the money from other similar schemes.

“We anticipate that for some schemes the legislation will extend the enquiry window for one year (possible retrospectively),” said Baker Tilly’s Lakshmi Narain.

“So, for example, if HMRC find out about a scheme and in due course decide it has been used extensively and they do not think it works they may be given power to open those cases.”