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HMRC has issued Stop Notices to two companies; ordering them to stop selling specific avoidance schemes or face an initial penalty of £100,000.

The companies in question – Peak PAYE Ltd and Saxonside Ltd – have been issued these notices for promoting disguised remuneration schemes designed to avoid paying National Insurance and Income Tax.

Mary Aiston, HMRC’s Director of Counter Avoidance, said, “Stop Notices are a powerful way to close down individual schemes and ensure money goes to fund our vital public services. Peak PAYE and Saxonside must stop selling these schemes or face severe penalties.

“Most schemes don’t work and risk taxpayers getting into debt. We’ve already made great strides in tackling promoters of tax avoidance and we’ll continue to act against those who design and sell schemes.

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“Anyone who thinks they may be involved in a tax avoidance scheme, or have been approached by a scheme promoter, should contact us as soon as possible to get help.”

Previously, HMRC could only publish the names of tax avoidance promoters but are now additionally able to publicise the issuing of Stop Notices.

If a company receives a Stop Notice then they’ll need to immediately cease promoting an avoidance scheme, notify their clients that a stop notice has been issued and make quarterly compliance declarations to HMRC.

If they don’t then they could face an initial fine of up to £100,000 and unlimited accumulating penalties for other breaches of the Notice of up to £5000 per scheme user.

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