The government's crackdown on aggressive tax avoidance schemes is the subject of a lot of press attention. Most of the reporting centres on the high profile individuals who enter into these schemes.
A point that sometimes gets overlooked is that a lot of the individuals entering into these schemes are often very poorly advised (if they are advised at all) and those that promote these schemes can take advantage of that, and so it is interesting to read that many of those individuals are now joining together to litigate against the scheme promoters.
Law firm Withers has begun a class action against promoters of tax avoidance schemes, on behalf of professional footballers and other celebrities who lost millions when HM Revenue & Customs challenged the schemes. The litigation alleges that clients were victims of mis-selling by advisors who specifically targeted young and financially inexperienced footballers. Several of these footballers, now retired, are being served with accelerated payment notices, requiring them to pay all the disputed tax to HM Revenue & Customs without the right of appeal. In film partnership cases, the investors not only have to pay income tax they thought to have avoided, but also on income received by the partnership under the licensing agreement, even though they never received any of this 'income'.