Tax man takes action against accounting firms set up to advise hauliers how to avoid paying tax


HMRC is taking action against accounting firms set up to advise hauliers and drivers on how to avoid paying tax.

The move has been welcomed by the RHA, which said companies needed to be aware of taking the wrong tax advice on the employment status of drivers. It said they were being sold aggressive schemes that could lead to arrears of tax, interest and penalties.

Some hauliers were sold the idea they could set up, or have an agent set up, companies for their workers and avoid tax (CM 1 June).

RHA chief executive Richard Burnett said: “In this industry it is rare for someone to be genuinely self-employed, unless they are an owner-driver. However, whether someone is employed or self-employed is not a matter of choice, but is determined by the particular terms and conditions under which a person works.”

HMRC said it was important for anyone thinking of using an agent to deal with their tax affairs to be clear about what they are proposing, and that they understand and accept it is what they want.

An HMRC spokeswoman said: “This is particularly the case where the agent is proposing the client operates through less usual arrangements, such as a service company. Such arrangements are often open to challenge by HMRC and may result in enquiries or additional liabilities to tax.”