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The EBT Settlement Opportunity – a new approach

Those with Employee Benefit Trust (‘EBT’) arrangements will doubtless be aware of HMRC’s
continued view that such structures were set up primarily to avoid tax.

The introduction in December 2010 of the Disguised Remuneration legislation effectively taxes as
earning all subsequent EBT contributions. However, it does not resolve the position for prior
contributions and there remain a great number of open HMRC enquiries into such arrangements,
plus taxpayers with funds ‘locked’ in EBTs who do not know how best to proceed.

In 2011 HMRC announced a Settlement Opportunity, seeking to encourage taxpayers with EBTs to
reach a financial settlement without the need for litigation.

To date, take up of the Settlement Opportunity has been poor, therefore HMRC is now trying to
reinvigorate the process, and given the number of open cases it would appear to have ministerial
backing to settle on favourable terms, where circumstances permit.

How can Harts help?

Our Employment Taxes and Tax Investigations specialists, Chris O’Hara and John Norman, have
substantial experience of dealing with HMRC enquiries into EBT arrangements. Via their contacts
within HMRC they are able to discuss the details of individual cases, and so to quantify precisely the
amount that HMRC would be willing to accept in settlement to conclude their enquiries.

Any settlement needs to take account of all facts and taxes at stake. However, in our experience,
settlements can be as low as 17% of the value of funds put into the EBT. With HMRC
seemingly intent on progressing cases to litigation, this may prove a very attractive way of concluding
matters and releasing locked funds.

Harts are delighted to invite you to an event on this topic at their office in Macclesfield. There will
be a short presentation on the EBT Settlement Opportunity by in-house tax experts, Chris and
John, followed by questions and answers.

Date: Thursday 26 September 2013
Venue: Harts Limited, Westminster House, 10 Westminster Road, Macclesfield,
Cheshire SK10 1BX
Time: 5.30pm – Registration 7.00pm – End
Cost: Complimentary. Wine, soft drinks and nibbles will be served

All such discussions with HMRC take place on an entirely anonymous and
without prejudice basis and allow us to provide taxpayers accurate figures and help make
informed commercial decisions.

Chris O’Hara, Director
Chris is a well renowned tax adviser who has specialised in
providing proven employment tax solutions to businesses for the
last 16 years. All of Chris’ experience has been gained working for
Big 4 and top tier firms.

Prior to joining the accountancy profession in 1996, Chris spent
nine years working for the Inland Revenue. He is a member of the
Association of Tax Technicians and is a Chartered tax advisor.

 

John Norman, Specialist Tax Consultant
John specialises in dealing with all manner of enquiries and
investigations by HMRC, from Local Tax District matters through
to the most serious fraud cases.

Formerly an Inspector of Taxes, John has spent 22 years working
for leading accountancy firms, including KPMG and BDO. John also
helps businesses and individuals identify and manage their tax risks.

Who should attend?

Anyone involved with EBT arrangements, wishing to know more about HMRC’s current
approach and the opportunities that may be available.

Harts is an independent firm of Chartered Accountants based in Macclesfield. We specialise in
providing services to owner-managed businesses and entrepreneurs and have a specialist
corporate tax department.

We hope you find this of interest and would be delighted to see you.

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