The total amount of tax protected by tackling corporate tax avoidance schemes has passed £1 billion in the first six months of 2013, David Gauke, Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury, announced today at the first HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) Stakeholder Conference.
Speaking this morning at the conference, Mr Gauke said:
“Today I can announce that HMRC has topped £1 billion this year in court wins against corporate tax avoidance, following a judgment worth almost £88 million, involving a company called Vocalspruce and a scheme promoted by Price Waterhouse Coopers.”
Vocalspruce, at the time part of a FTSE-listed group, lost its bid to convince a tax tribunal that the avoidance scheme worked as intended.
This case has delivered over £62 million to the UK’s coffers, as other users of the failed scheme settled up. It also has major implications for 43 similar cases, protecting over £87 million.
 Welcoming the Tribunal decision, Mr Gauke said:
“These are complex, intricate schemes and without the technical skills, resources and sheer commitment of HMRC’s specialists they would go unchallenged, costing the country billions of pounds every year.
“The message coming out of these cases is clear – entering into a tax avoidance scheme can be complex, expensive and self defeating, and the taxpayer can even end up paying more than the original bill.
“The Government has invested nearly £1 billion in HMRC to come down hard on avoidance, evasion and fraud and they will continue to challenge abuses like this wherever they find them.”