‘Groundhog Day for Employment Allowance Scam’ by Robin Williamson, MBE CTA (Fellow), Author and Commentator on Tax

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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