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Icebreaker tax avoidance scheme rejected by HMRC

In a high profile decision HMRC has won a case in which the Icebreaker partnership schemes were shut down, after the tribunal ruled it was set up to shelter more than £120m in tax.

The wealthy members of the scheme, which included Gary Barlow and two of his former Take That band mates, claimed to be active partners trading in the creative industries, selling, for example, the rights to a song or an idea for a book. They claimed tax relief on greater losses than they invested in the partnerships. The return on the partners' 'investment' was the tax relief, which was considerably larger than their cash contribution.

A HMRC spokesperson said:

'HMRC has put in place generous reliefs to support genuine business investment and our tax reliefs for the creative industries work well, enabling the UK's world-class film, television and video production companies to compete on the global stage.

But we will not tolerate abuse of the system by people trying to dodge their tax obligations. HMRC will continue to challenge in the courts and anyone who engages in tax avoidance schemes risk not only the high cost of these schemes but also lay themselves open to penalties and, potentially, prosecution.'

The scheme was rejected by a First-tier Tribunal.

Internet links: News Tribunal

02 Aug 2018

Bank of England raise interest rate

The Bank of England has raised the interest rate from 0.5% to 0.75%.

02 Aug 2018

Making Tax Digital for VAT

HMRC has published further information on Making Tax Digital for VAT (MTDfV).

02 Aug 2018

Scotland introduces relief for first time buyers

First-time buyers in Scotland will be helped to purchase their first home through a new tax relief which applies to Scottish Land and Buildings Transaction Tax (LBTT).