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Avoidance study group names experts

Tax barrister will lead exploration of GAAR in the UK

The Treasury has announced the names of the academics, judges and business people who will explore the case for a general anti-avoidance rule (GAAR) in the UK.

A study group headed by Graham Aaronson QC was set up last month as part of the Government’s strategy - unveiled in last year’s June Budget – for tackling tax avoidance and building sustainable defences to address long-standing avoidance risks.

Mr Aaronson, a barrister who specialises in commercial taxation, will be joined by:

  • John Bartlett, group head of tax, BP plc.
  • Judith Freedman, professor of taxation law and director of legal Research at the Centre for Business Taxation, University of Oxford.
  • Launcelot Henderson, High Court judge, Chancery Division.
  • Leonard Hoffmann, non-permanent judge of Hong Kong SAR Court of Final Appeal, and former Lord of Appeal in Ordinary.
  • Howard Nowlan, part-time judge of the First-tier Tribunal, and former tax partner with the international law firm Slaughter and May.
  • John Tiley, emeritus professor of the law of taxation and director of the Centre for Tax Law, Queen’s College, University of Cambridge.

Their work will include consideration of existing experience with GAARs and other anti-avoidance principles in other jurisdictions; what a GAAR could usefully achieve in the UK; and what the basic approach should be. Conclusions will be delivered to the Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury, David Gauke, by 31 October.

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