EC Chief Executive Kevin Green says:
“We are delighted that the government has responded to our request to crackdown on aggressive tax avoidance schemes from offshore intermediaries and we will do everything within our power to support Danny Alexander and the Treasury.
“The REC remains at the forefront of this issue. We continue to demand clarity and consistency from HMRC and the Treasury to ensure that businesses in our sector operate on a level playing field. We recently attended a meeting with Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury David Gauke MP to share our proposals for combatting unaudited travel and subsistence schemes. We see that some enforcement activity is happening but more action is needed.”
He added: “We have also been in correspondence with Dr Dan Poulter MP at the Department of Health about how VAT is being applied to the provision of staff in the healthcare sector. We are aware that NHS Trusts have different contractual arrangements with employment businesses. The REC believes that the guidance from HMRC on this taxation issue is urgently needed to ensure that NHS Trusts are not unwittingly party to VAT avoidance.
“It is important to recognise that one of the key driving forces behind the growth of tax avoidance schemes is the relentless focus on cost above all else by clients in both the public and private sectors. Whilst we understand the need for employers to seek value for money, workers and agencies are finding that the only way to increase their take home pay and preserve any sort of profit margin is through recourse to these sorts of schemes. We are keen for the clients of our members to audit their supply chains and avoid encouraging this type of ‘race to the bottom’ behaviour.”