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Revenue Scotland and Tax Powers Act 2014

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Artificial tax avoidance arrangements

63Tax avoidance arrangements

(1)An arrangement (or series of arrangements) is a tax avoidance arrangement if, having regard to all the circumstances, it would be reasonable to conclude that obtaining a tax advantage is the main purpose, or one of the main purposes, of the arrangement.

(2)An “arrangement”—

(a)includes any transaction, scheme, action, operation, agreement, grant, understanding, promise, undertaking or event (whether legally enforceable or not), and

(b)may comprise one or more stages or parts.

64Meaning of “artificial”

(1)A tax avoidance arrangement is artificial if condition A or B is met.

(2)Condition A is met if the entering into or carrying out of the arrangement is not a reasonable course of action in relation to the tax provisions in question having regard to all the circumstances, including—

(a)whether the substantive results of the arrangement are consistent with—

(i)any principles on which those provisions are based (whether express or implied), and

(ii)the policy objectives of those provisions,

(b)whether the arrangement is intended to exploit any shortcomings in those provisions.

(3)Condition B is met if the arrangement lacks economic or commercial substance.

(4)Each of the following is an example of something which might indicate that a tax avoidance arrangement lacks economic or commercial substance—

(a)whether the arrangement is carried out by a person in a manner which would not normally be employed in reasonable business conduct,

(b)whether the legal characterisation of the steps in the arrangement is inconsistent with the legal substance of the arrangement as a whole,

(c)whether the arrangement includes elements which have the effect of offsetting or cancelling each other,

(d)whether transactions are circular in nature,

(e)whether the arrangement results in a tax advantage that is not reflected in the business risks undertaken by the taxpayer.

(5)The fact that—

(a)a tax avoidance arrangement accords with established practice, and

(b)Revenue Scotland had, at the time the arrangement was entered into, indicated its acceptance of that practice,

is an example of something that might indicate that the arrangement is not artificial.

(6)The examples given in subsections (4) and (5) are not exhaustive.

(7)Where a tax avoidance arrangement forms part of any other arrangements, regard must also be had to those other arrangements.

65Meaning of “tax advantage”

(1)A “tax advantage” includes in particular—

(a)relief or increased relief from tax,

(b)repayment or increased repayment of tax,

(c)avoidance or reduction of a charge to tax or an assessment to tax,

(d)avoidance of a possible assessment to tax, and

(e)deferral of a payment of tax or advancement of a repayment of tax.

(2)In determining whether a tax avoidance arrangement has resulted in a tax advantage, regard may be had to the amount of tax that would have been payable in the absence of the arrangement.

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