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Tax avoidance focus tightens

By Western Daily Press  |  Posted: March 20, 2014

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The Government's coffers will be bolstered thanks to fresh crackdowns on tax dodging, according to the Chancellor.

Nearly £4 billion is expected to be raised over the next four years by extending rules that force people to pay tax debts immediately after avoidance schemes are found to be unlawful. Previously individuals could delay settling bills until after the conclusion of legal appeals – meaning they effectively had a tax-free loan from the public purse.

Aides to Mr Osborne said the change would affect 33,000 people earning an average of £262,000 a year.

It is hoped that insisting on up-front payment will remove the incentive for people to invest in complex tax avoidance vehicles even after they have been ruled invalid.

Another high-profile move will see the punitive 15 per cent stamp duty rate on houses bought through shell companies widened.

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