Vantis – did they get away with it?

Posted on

The Times reports:

Has HM Revenue & Customs backed off from an investigation into a controversial but widespread form of tax avoidance, involving the use of the Gift Aid rules? In 2006 it was revealed that HMRC had been interviewing tax experts at a number of accountants, including the AIM-quoted Vantis, about schemes that allowed their clients to claim tax breaks on shares gifted to charities.

Several Vantis employees were later reported to have been interviewed under caution, and their offices and homes searched by HMRC. The share price fell as a result. I understand, though no one is saying anything officially, that two senior tax experts at Vantis, whose names I have been given, were interviewed again under caution in January this year.

There is no indication that HMRC plans any further action. The schemes were not illegal, but they had angered genuine charities, which claimed they were against the spirit of Gift Aid. Vantis refused to comment and HMRC tells me: “We aren’t able to discuss the details of any named individual or business – our legal duty of confidentiality simply doesn’t allow it.”

The Vantis schemes were horribly abusive.

Why are they getting away with it?

And yet again the ‚Äòveil of secrecy’ hides abuse from view.

It is sickening to honest taxpayers.