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Budget 2014: Osborne unveils tax avoidance crackdown

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  • 19/03/2014
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Chancellor George Osborne stepped up his clamp down on tax avoidance for individuals and corporations by giving HMRC tougher powers to tackle non-compliance with the rules.

HMRC will be given “modern powers” to collect tax credit debts from the bank accounts of people who persistently avoid paying their tax bill.

Compliance checks on migrant workers will be increased to stop them from claiming benefits which they are not entitled to.

Osborne said: “The public tolerance for those who do not pay their fair share evaporated long ago.”

To recognise workers in the emergency services, Osborne will waive inheritance as a reward to those “who give their lives protecting us”.

Osborne announced he is expanding the tax he introduced to stop people avoiding stamp duty by owning homes through a company.

He said: “We will expand the tax on residential properties worth over £2m to those worth more than £500,000.

“And from midnight tonight anyone purchasing residential property worth over half a million pounds through a corporate envelope will be required to pay 15% stamp duty.”

But he added the expansion does not apply to homes that are rented out.

He added: “Many of the are empty properties held in corporate envelopes to avoid stamp duty. This abuse will end.”

Further measures include the blocking of the transfer of profits between companies within the same group to reduce their tax liability.

And HMRC will be monitoring Enterprise Investment Schemes and Venture Capital Trusts, which can provide tax relief, to curb the potential misuse of these vehicles.

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