On 31 March 2017, HMRC published amendments to its guidance on the General Anti-Abuse Rule (GAAR). The revisions mainly reflect changes introduced by Finance Acts 2015 and 2016, including:

• the application of the GAAR to diverted profits tax and the apprenticeship levy

• new powers for HMRC officers to make provisional counteractions

• provisions allowing similar cases to be “pooled” before referral to the GAAR Advisory Panel. HMRC may then nominate one case from the pool to be considered, or make a “generic referral”. The GAAR Advisory Panel's decision will then be applied to the similar cases. Where similar cases are identified after an opinion has been given, there is a new procedure to “bind” such cases to that decision

• new GAAR penalty provisions for transactions entered into on or after 15 September 2016

• the removal of the tax advantage conferred from special purpose share schemes in the Finance Act 2015.

A copy of HMRC's guidance can be found here.