THE Treasury has announced a series of measures to tackle tax-dodging which are expected to raise more than £2bn and protect another £5bn by 2015.
Following a weekend of anti tax-avoidance protests which closed high street stores in London and Brighton, Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury David Gauke said the coalition was "fully committed" to tackling the issue.
In a written statement to MPs, Mr Gauke outlined a series of moves aimed at closing loopholes in income, corporate and value added tax (VAT).
Groups of companies will be banned from using intra-group loans or derivatives to reduce their corporation tax bills with immediate effect.
Ministers have also proposed tackling firms which "artificially split" the supply of their services to reduce VAT, as well as using "disguised remuneration" – company schemes used to reward employees by avoiding or deferring the payment of tax.
The Government is also toying with introducing a new General Anti Avoidance Rule (GAAR) to deter tax evaders and minimise costs for businesses, a move slammed by the CBI, the head of whose tax committee, Will Morris, said would introduce a very unwelcome element of uncertainty.
Mr Gauke told MPs: "These measures take the necessary steps to protect the Exchequer, and maintain fairness for the taxpayer, whilst providing certainty for businesses."