Gold as payment targeted by tax panel GAAR’s first ruling

Pocketing gold as payment is no longer allowed

A ruling under the UK’s tax General Anti-Abuse Rule (GAAR) has forbidden payment in gold. The GAAR’s panel made the ruling to prevent tax avoidance via payment of salary in gold bullion or nefarious accountancy practices that move wealth via the buying and selling of assets – commonly gold.

“HMRC has already made clear that gold bullion avoidance schemes don’t work and that we will challenge these schemes wherever possible,” said the Revenue. “Today’s publication has wide-reaching impacts and reinforces the power of the GAAR in tackling abusive tax avoidance.” The ruling is the first to be made by the panel, set up in 2013 by then chancellor George Osborne to help define the letter and spirit of the law when it comes to tax evasion and avoidance in the UK.

The avoidance of tax by receiving payment in trade or commodities is nothing new. “People used to be paid in all sorts of assets – hay, wine, Persian carpets, Turkish lira, gold bullion, platinum – all these arrangements were freely available and a means of avoiding tax and National Insurance contributions on bonuses,” Bill Longe, a tax expert at accountants RSM, told The Guardian.

That must now change says the GAAR, who define the use of gold in such circumstances as a “clear case of associated taxpayers seeking to frustrate the intent of parliament by identifying potential loopholes in complex interlinking anti-avoidance legislation and arranging a series of intricate and precise steps to exploit those loopholes so as to gain an unexpected and unintended tax ‘win’”.

The panel said they found “no reason for the steps to involve gold, other than for tax purposes”.


Photo credit: selimaksan


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Posted by on Aug 8 2017. Filed under Gold News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

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