Robin Williamson highlights egregious tax evasion schemes through the utilisation of miniumbrella companies While listening to BBC’s File on 4 ‘Britain’s Ghost Companies’ in May, I experienced a distinct sense of déjà vu.
The programme was covering a particularly abusive tax avoidance scheme which involved a chain of intermediaries suppling workers for NHS Test and Trace. The workers’ direct employers were a series of mini-umbrella companies (MUCs) recently set up with UK nationals as directors who, at some point, would hand over to foreign nationals based mostly in the Philippines. Each MUC had a short life and employed only a few UK workers at a time, and workers were frequently handed between different MUCs. The main object of the arrangements was to maximise claims for the £4,000 employment allowance and thus reduce or eliminate liability for UK secondary Class 1 national insurance contributions (NIC).
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