Keep an eye on your post, surreptitious tax schemers, as a HMRC-marked letter might be arriving soon.

In a blanketed campaign, HMRC are chasing down businesses both big and small that they suspect to be using tax avoidance schemes, warning them via post that if don’t settle up their liabilities then there’s the prospect of prosecution, or a potential tribunal.

An amnesty is on offer for those who opt to settle up any outstanding tax owed, although notably HMRC ‘reserves the right to rely on all arguments including those that may deny any relief completely in litigation.’ Not so much of an amnesty then.

Elsewhere, an overview to the amnesty has exacerbated worry that the settlement opportunity could be used to ensnare providers suspected of not complying with the tax rules around expenses.

This has been borne out of one particular line, which stated that the amnesty will only apply to those who ‘seek to create tax relief much greater than the real economic cost borne by the participants.’

All letters are set to be written by January 31st, barring any HMRC delays – so tax evaders can probably rest in peace that they probably won’t receive anything till mid-June.

Photo by Bogdan Suditu