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Many of the budget changes have now been passed as law, and one of the most far reaching relates to accelerated payments.

These payments only apply to tax payers who have used a registered tax avoidance scheme, or a scheme that’s similar to one that’s failed, as judged by a tribunal or court.

For a number of years, most tax avoidance schemes have been registered and given a unique reference, known as a DOTA’s number or SRN.  If you’ve been involved in one of these schemes you need to disclose this reference on your tax return.

For many people this has prompted HMRC to open an enquiry into their tax return, and if this is the case, you can now expect some correspondence from them called an ‘Accelerated Payment Notice’.

When you receive this notice, you can’t appeal it. You can ask HMRC to reconsider the amount they’re requesting, but this must be done within 90 days of receiving the notice.  If you’d like us to we can help with this.

You also have some alternatives including:

  • negotiating a settlement with HMRC.  This involves agreeing on a liability and any interest or penalties due, along with a set period in which to pay the arrangement (if required).
  • asking the tax tribunal to close the enquiry. This is only really an option if you really believe the scheme ‘works’.

If you receive one of these notices and would like our help please contact us immediately.  If you do nothing, you may incur significant penalties if you’re unable to meet the conditions of the notice.