HMRC threatens tax scheme promoters with £1m fines By Alex Steger

HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) has stepped up its battle against tax dodging by warning firms which promote aggressive avoidance schemes that they could face fines of up to £1 million, according to reports.

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The move follows a heavy crackdown on tax avoidance over the last two years with HMRC already having reduced the number of new schemes from 116 in 2009-2010 to 28 in 2013-14.

The Financial Times reported HMRC had written to firms identified as ‘high-risk promoters’ – fewer than five firms – warning them to improve their behaviour or face a formal action.

Under this year’s Finance Bill HMRC will have greater powers to monitor firms it believes are involved in tax avoidance.

Financial secretary to the Treasury David Gauke (pictured) was quoted in the FT as saying: ‘The government has taken unprecedented steps to clamp down on the selfish minority who practice tax avoidance, because we are firmly on the side of the vast majority of taxpayers who play by the rules.