Tax warning: Stockport and Liverpool firms named by HMRC

Tax warning: Stockport and Liverpool firms named by HMRC

09/05/2022 - 12:54

HMRC has added three more companies to its list of ‘named tax avoidance schemes, promoters, enablers and suppliers’ and two of them have offices in the North West of England.

Gateway Outsource Solutions Ltd had its registered office on Greek Street in Stockport until earlier this month, while PAYEme Ltd has a registered office in Liverpool. ContractorCare Ltd, the third company ‘named and shamed’ by HMRC, has a registered office in the Shard in London.

This latest batch of names comes shortly after the tax authority fined Hyrax Resourcing Ltd £1m for failing to disclose the details of a tax avoidance scheme they promoted.

HMRC has now published details of 14 tax avoidance schemes and their promoters, but it says that this is not a complete list of all the schemes currently being marketed. Contractors are being urged to exercise extreme caution when choosing an umbrella company or another renumeration scheme.

Although it is not clear how the named companies are involved in tax avoidance, the schemes generally share some common features.

Typically, workers get two separate payments for the work they complete. The first will be a normal salary payment. This is liable for tax, but usually won’t exceed the tax-free allowance. The second payment typically won’t be taxed under PAYE and will often be disguised as a loan or advance.

Miles Grady, Director of said: “If you are a contractor involved with one of these companies, or another company on HMRC’s list,  you should look carefully at your payment arrangements, because there’s a good chance you are involved in a tax avoidance scheme.

“Along with Malta and London, the North West of England appears to be a hotspot for tax avoidance companies. Looking at HMRC’s list here are several firms with offices in Manchester, Greater Manchester and Liverpool.”

Schemes that offer very high rates of take home pay, or involve very complex pay arrangements are typically unlawful, even if they claim to be ‘HMRC-approved’ or ‘checked by a barrister’.

Miles Grady continued: “My golden rule for contractors is if it sounds too good to be true, then it probably is.”

For more information about umbrella payments and how to avoid tax avoidance schemes, speak to a member of the team today. Call: 01625 544 460.