The Government announced over the weekend that it will strengthen legislation to block tax avoidance involving offshore employment intermediaries. The Government estimates that at least 100,000 workers are being employed through offshore intermediaries to avoid tax, in particular National Insurance contributions (NICs).
While this is in keeping with the Government’s current drive against tax avoidance generally, and especially avoidance involving offshore tax havens, it is unusual for specific tax measures such as this to be announced a few days before a Budget.
This may have been to prevent the statement being lost in the detail of tomorrow’s Budget, which will no doubt include a number of other anti-avoidance measures.
The full press notice can be found here. There will be a consultation and the legislation is expected to be included in the Finance Bill 2014, and have effect from 1 April 2014.