Tax Avoidance Schemes

If you have been sold a tax avoidance scheme, such as a film partnership, and have been pursued by HMRC for tax owed or are concerned your tax scheme may not qualify for tax relief, you may have a claim.

Cooper Stern specialises in tax avoidance scheme claims and has the skill and expertise to assess the potential strengths and weaknesses of a case. Our team is uniquely placed to assist high net worth individuals, drawing from years of experience from legally trained Associates, qualified accountants, former senior bank managers and investment experts.

Tax avoidance schemes are complex mechanisms set up by businesses as a means of avoiding having to pay all or some taxes due. Tax schemes are complex and highly risky, with investors often unable to determine the extent of their liability at the outset, so they could be exposed to financial risk.

Many tax schemes have been mis-sold to investors by advisors, as they are unsuitable for their particular needs and requirements, and therefore it is imperative that you seek compensation if you have been the victim of deliberate mis-selling in order to recoup the losses you have incurred.

Tax avoidance currently costs the taxpayer £4 billion a year, according to the latest statistics recorded by HMRC. This total is very nearly as much as illegal tax evasion, which costs £5.1 billion. Together, they account for around a quarter of the £35 billion which is lost to the Treasury every calendar year, otherwise known as the “tax gap”. In normal instances, those involved in tax avoidance schemes will pay others to help minimise the cost of their tax bills. In some cases, avoidance can soon turn into evasion, and this is where the problem lies.

If you conceal certain information or lie about certain facts then you may be judged to be breaking the law. This could then result in a fine or even prosecution.

In order to help taxpayers, there are some warning signs which people need to look out for if they do not want to become involved in the saga revolving around tax avoidance schemes:

  • The tax returns or benefits are out of proportion to any real economic activity, investment risk or expense.
  • The scheme involves arrangements which seem very complex and long-winded, given what you want to do.
  • The arrangement is on a “no win, no fee” basis or upfront fees are payable.
  • The scheme involves money going around in a circle, back to where it started.
  • The scheme involves contrived or artificial arrangements.
  • Offshore trusts or companies are involved for no sound commercial reason.
  • The scheme promoter either provides any funding needed to make the scheme work or arranges for it to be made available by another party.
  • There are confidentiality or secrecy agreements.
  • The scheme contains exit arrangements designed to side-step tax consequences.
  • The scheme has been allocated a Scheme Reference Number (SRN) by HMRC under the Disclosure of Tax Avoidance Schemes (DOTAS) regime.
  • A banking secrecy country or tax haven is involved.
how can we help you?

Have any questions? Get in touch with the Cooper Stern team today by submitting an inquiry online.

There are no substantial up-front costs, and our clients like that. The claims we have settled so far have been on a full redress basis. The banks are misbehaving by making offers to businesses, partially repaying what they have paid, and saying they do not need legal advice and making very low offers. I would urge businesses who are affected to get in touch with us before it is too late.

Daniel-Fallows
Dan Fallows
Director, Cooper Stern