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Solicitors’ tax work to fall under greater scrutiny

10 October 2017
Issue: 4619 / Categories: News

A warning notice outlines concerns on planning for clients.

Solicitors providing tax planning services could face greater scrutiny from their regulator and HMRC as the government clamps down on aggressive tax avoidance schemes.

The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) has published a warning notice outlining concerns about tax work in particular that involving the general anti-abuse rule (GAAR). This legislation was introduced in 2013 to cover schemes that ‘achieve a favourable tax result that parliament did not anticipate when it introduced the tax rules in question and critically where that course of action cannot … be regarded as reasonable’. HMRC has said it will act against abusive tax avoidance schemes and indicated it might also challenge arrangements not caught by GAAR.

If solicitors advise on schemes that are judged to be illegal the SRA stated it would ‘on the face of it see this as evidence of misconduct’. It will also act if there is...

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