Crackdown on tax avoidance schemes raises £0.5bn, parents fork out £5bn cash to get children on housing ladder, and Leicester win Premier League jackpot


Tax avoidance crackdown raises £494m – Investigations by HMRC into tax avoidance schemes generated an additional £494m in income tax last year. According to figures from Pinsent Masons. Paul Noble, from Pinsent Masons, said: “HMRC has had a number of high-profile wins in tackling tax avoidance, with some of the UK’s most famous faces suffering intense public scrutiny for their supposed involvement”. The increase in returns follows the creation of a new Counter Avoidance Directorate in 2014. The unit has been given several powers to expedite its work. These include requiring upfront payment of the tax under question. Which should be within 90 days where use of an avoidance scheme is suspected. Payment must be made even before the case has been fully resolved or heard at tribunal, with no appeals process. Pinsent Masons said that it had “significantly sharpened HMRC’s abilities to target schemes which it deems are avoidance”.

Tax-exempt art for sale – More than £20m of art from private UK collections granted “conditionally exempt” status by HMRC will become available to buy in the next few months. Owners of the works, which have been granted tax-exempt status as long as they are available to the public to see and study, have to inform Arts Council England when they want to sell. The latest list of tax-exempt items for sale has now been posted on the Council’s website.

Apprentice levy exacerbating skills shortage – The BCC says employers are scaling back successful training schemes amid uncertainty surrounding the new apprenticeship levy. The BCC said Britain’s skills shortage could get worse unless the Government clarified the terms of the new scheme as quickly as possible.

UK economy and markets

Home help from a quarter of parents  – Research from Experian shows that 27% of people aged 55 and over have given financial support to their child or someone else to help them to buy their own property. Of those who have offered financial support, 15% say they are “not at all” financially comfortable themselves. Elsewhere, a report by Legal & General shows that parents and grandparents are giving their offspring £5bn a year to help them get a foot on the property ladder. London homeowners receiving financial help from family and friends this year were given 6.2% of their home’s total price on average.

Business confidence slumps – Business confidence fell to a to a four-year low at the start of the second quarter, according to the ICAEW/Grant Thornton Business Confidence Monitor. It shows confidence dropped to 0.8 from 11.4 in the previous quarter. The ICAEW said optimism was on course for its weakest expansion since the end of 2012. This is because of weaker Chinese growth, a UK slowdown and the looming EU referendum.


Leicester secure Premier League jackpot – Dan Jones, lead partner of the Sports Business Group at Deloitte, says Leicester City will earn at least £125m for winning the Premier League and qualifying for the Champions League.

Hospital accountants told to get creative – The Telegraph suggests that the health service is currently heading for the worst deficit in its history. A predicted figure of £2.8bn for 2015/16. Whilst the Department of Health is urging NHS trusts to adopt measures which will help them to “paint a false picture” and improve the books in the short-term.

Christian Elmes, Partner

Christian Elmes trained at PwC and qualified as a chartered accountant in 1999, before moving to Morgan Stanley (2000-2002) as Associate in the Investment Banking Division (IBD).

He was appointed Director of Finance, Teather & Greenwood Investment Management in 2002 and moved with the Tax Efficient Solutions team to Smith & Williamson in 2004, becoming Deputy head of the department. He left to co-found Enterprise in 2011.

Over the last ten years, Christian has been responsible for developing a number of tax efficient products, particularly Enterprise Investment Schemes. He is able to lead on tax efficient product development from inception through to completion, because of his financial and tax background and commercial experience.

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