A freelance trade group has warned of a range of new tax measures that are designed to clamp down on tax avoidance and evasion and will raise £1.2 billion for HMRC.
The Finance Act 2018 includes measures that relate to new criminal offences referring to offshore assets, activities, income and tax responsibilities. The new measures have been highlighted by the Freelancer & Contractor Services Association (FCSA).
According to government sources, from next month, loopholes are being closed in the existing anti-avoidance laws so that “people will not be able to avoid paying UK tax on funds they withdraw from offshore trusts.”
The self-employed will be forced by the new requirements in the scope of the 2019 disguised remuneration loan charge to reveal new details about the loans to HMRC. Not only will these changes affect the self-employed, but they will also affect employees in the scope of the loan charge.
The bill gives details of what information HMRC will be able to request, which will allow HMRC to “conduct compliance checks on the loan charge”; the date by which the information must be received; and the penalties that may be levied for each inaccuracy (penalties may be up to £3,000).
The bill also contains details of how appeals may be lodged and the deadline (30 days within receipt of the penalty notice) for submitting an appeal. There is also information on what HMRC would consider as a reasonable excuse, which would prevent a penalty being imposed.
Companies will be stopped from claiming relief for losses in the disposal of shares; companies will be prevented from claiming unfair tax relief on intellectual property; and online marketplaces will be forced to take more responsibility for sellers who do not pay their VAT.