The Finance Bill 2016 contains provisions which will introduce a specific penalty linked to the General Anti-Abuse Rule (GAAR) provisions. The penalty will be 60% of the value of the counteracted advantage if HMRC successfully challenges the tax arrangements under the GAAR. Additionally, HMRC will have the power to issue provisional counteraction notices and binding and generic referral notices to the GAAR advisory panel.

The absence of any right for the taxpayer to make representations to the GAAR panel is likely to make the use of these powers highly controversial and potentially lead to more public law challenges.

The Finance Bill 2016 is available to view here.