The Finance Act 2014 (High Risk Promoters Prescribed Information) Regulations 2015, which come into force on 27 March 2015, were laid before the House of Commons on 6 March 2015. These Regulations implement certain aspects of the regime created by Part 5 of the Finance Act 2015 applying enhanced disclosure obligations to certain promoters of tax avoidance schemes, as well as their intermediaries and clients.
The Regulations prescribe:
- how a promoter subject to enhanced disclosure obligations (“monitored promoter”) must publish that fact;
- how a client of such a promoter must report that fact to HMRC:
- the information and documents that must be provided to HMRC about the promoter’s tax avoidance schemes and clients, and
- the conditions under which copies of documents may be produced instead of the originals.
A technical consultation on this instrument ran from 16 December 2014 under 27 January 2015. Taking account of comments received, the conditions in the final version for producing copies of documents now make it clear that it is permissible to redact copies of documents where necessary to preserve legal professional privilege. See paragraph (3) of Regulation 11.
HMRC issued a press release publicising these Regulations on 7 March 2015. According to the press release, HMRC has already written to a number of promoters warning them of the consequences if they do not change their behaviour and has also sent the first Conduct Notice to a promoter. Promoters who fail to comply with the terms of a Conduct Notice can be issued with a “Monitoring Notice”. As “monitored promoters” they then fall within the terms of these Regulations.