Our approach

Although fewer taxpayers now use tax avoidance arrangements than they have done historically, a significant number have still not resolved their case with HMRC. That may be due to inaction on HMRC’s part, or scheme promoters advising their clients not to settle. We regularly speak with taxpayers who have participated in tax planning arrangements based on advice they received at the time, but now find that those who gave the original advice will no longer help them, or in some cases they have disappeared completely.

HMRC’s approach to tackling perceived tax avoidance means that they will continue to pursue the amounts they believe they are owed for as long as it takes, often for many years, commencing litigation wherever they deem it appropriate to do so.

HMRC regularly state that they win more than 90% of tax avoidance cases that they take to the Tax Tribunal, which has led to an increasing number of taxpayers looking to settle.

Menzies do not and have never sold tax avoidance arrangements to our clients. However, we stand on the side of taxpayers who want to settle their involvement in historic schemes, but not for a penny more than is legally due. We robustly challenge HMRC when it is appropriate to do so.

Our services

We help all taxpayers who want to explore their options for agreeing a settlement of their tax avoidance arrangements with HMRC allowing them to move on with their lives. We have experience of working collaboratively with HMRC’s Counter-Avoidance Directorate so we can understand the technical basis for HMRC adopting a particular position and can guide clients through all stages of a settlement process.

We can obtain illustrative costs of settlement where the client is under no obligation to proceed, should they choose not to.

In our experience one of the main reasons given by clients for delaying a settlement with HMRC is an inability to pay back the money HMRC say is due. However, HMRC are keen for taxpayers to come forward and settle even if that means paying back the amount owed over an extended period. The team at Menzies can assist clients with securing Time to Pay arrangements and where necessary, speak directly with HMRC on behalf of clients to explore acceptable repayment terms.

Please reach out to us if you would like to learn more about settling tax avoidance schemes.

Solving Tax Avoidance Settlements