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Mercurial matter

06 May 2014 / Matthew Rowbotham
Issue: 4450 / Categories: Comment & Analysis , Avoidance

Even tribunals and courts can have difficulty differentiating between reality and fantasy


  • The UBS and Deutsche Bank decisions can point to future approaches to avoidance schemes by the courts.
  • Employees could receive a bonus in cash or shares in a special purpose vehicle.
  • The scheme basics and the effects of ITEPA 2003 s 425 and s 429.
  • HMRC’s alternative arguments based on the Ramsay decision.
  • Distinguishing between the fiscal purpose of a scheme and its reality.

As well as being the opening lines to one of the greatest songs of all times “Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy?” are questions that the courts are repeatedly asking themselves when faced with tax avoidance cases.

The most recent occasion is the Court of Appeal’s judgment in the...

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