GAAR Panel Ruling– can we get rid of Part 7A now (please)?
This GAAR panel ruling can’t have been a surprise to anyone. However, I can’t really see any basis on which the transactions could realistically have escaped Part 7A anyway. The GAAR appears to have been applied in advance of a 'normal' assessment and appeal process, and other users of the arrangements can now expect swift follow up and, one assumes, threats of GAAR penalties where the timing supports it. I wonder if a similar approach might be taken to other post-2011 disguised remuneration structures which have not yet reached tribunal? Something to look out for after 30 September!
Generally though, given this approach to disguised remuneration (or non-remuneration?), is it really now necessary to have swathes of impossibly complex rules addressing these issues? Part 7A now runs to more than 60 individual sections, before even beginning to consider the numerous amendments dotted around in Finance Acts. For the sake of tax advisers everywhere, is it now time to look at simplifying Part 7A?