HMRC has published a list of 800 schemes that it believes are deliberately designed for tax avoidance.
The list consists of ‘avoidance scheme reference numbers’, which HMRC can use to identify individual tax payers through their tax forms.
HMRC will gain new powers in August that will allow them to demand the disputed tax of the scheme members as “accelerated” payments.
It’s thought that around 33,000 people will receive demands for tax over the next two years, bringing in billions of pounds in revenue for HMRC.
Those targeted will have 90 days to pay the amount they owe and will only get the money back if approved by court action.
Accountants have warned that it will be extremely hard to contest the HMRC payment order, once issued.
Experts say the new powers may result in a number of individual and business bankruptcies, because the amount owed will have accrued over a number of years.
Dawn Register, of accountants BDO, told the BBC:
“Individuals and businesses will be expected to raise external finance to pay the tax, or sell assets. This could lead to many businesses facing a major cash flow problem, and equally individual bankruptcies could increase.”
A number of celebrities have already been rumoured as targets, including David Beckham and singer, Katie Melua.
Image by HMRC