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Treasury announces team to explore case for UK general anti-avoidance rule

BP group head of tax to be part of team tasked with exploring a GAAR for UK

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John Bartlett, group head of tax at BP, will be one of a seven-member expert team tasked with exploring the case for a general anti-avoidance rule in the UK, the Treasury announced on Friday.

The experts will look at existing experience with GAARs and other anti avoidance rules in other jurisdictions, what a UK GAAR could achieve and what the basic approach of a GAAR should be.

Other team members include Judith Freedman, professor of taxation law and director of legal research at the Centre for Business Taxation at Oxford University, Sir Launcelot Henderson, judge of the Chancery Division of the High Court of Justice, Lord Hoffmann, formerly Lord of Appeal, Judge of the Court of Final Appeal of Hong Kong, Howard Nowlan, ex-tax partner at Slaughter and May and John Tiley, emeritus professor of the law of taxation and director of the Centre for Tax Law at Cambridge University).

In December the government announced that a study group would be set up by Graham Aaronson QC as part of its pledge to tacke tax avoidance.

Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury, David Gauke, said: "We are committed to tackling tax avoidance.  I’m delighted that Graham Aaronson and his study group will be bringing their collective expertise to bear on whether a general anti avoidance rule could deter and counter tax avoidance, whilst providing certainty, retaining a tax regime that is attractive to businesses, and minimising costs for businesses and HMRC.”

The group will report their conclusions later this year.  


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