Disguised remuneration users get relief tempter

The 'last chance saloon' that disguised remuneration contractors thought had long-closed is set to safeguard transitional relief on investment growth a bit longer, as a final tempter to settle.

In fact, the date scheduled for removing the relief, November 30th 2016, which was quietly set at Budget 2016 as one of its £12billion anti-avoidance measures, is due to be postponed.

So last week, EBT and loan scheme contractors had about four months to claim the relief but HMRC says that, once parliament agrees, the relief will be on offer until March 31st 2017.

“The government wants to ensure all users of disguised remuneration schemes have the opportunity to settle with HMRC before the transitional relief…is withdrawn,” the tax authority said.

It directed news of the extension to promoters; users and advisers, all of whom were told that “disguised remuneration schemes don’t work, and [we] will challenge these rigorously.”

However, the Revenue also said that “users who want to benefit from the transitional relief on investment growth” can settle on or before March 31st 2017, no later.

Previously, contractors have been urged to be cautious about settling (via the CLSO or the EBTSO), but advisory Pinsent Masons reportedly regards the extension of the relief's lifetime as a “bit of a carrot” for users.

Contractors who are already in touch with HMRC about a scheme can contact their official about the extension, while those who aren’t were directed by HMRC to an email address.

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