July 17 2012.

HMRC has scored a victory against an avoidance scheme marketed by a major accountancy firm.

The Court of Appeal has unanimously rejected the taxpayer's appeal against HMRC's action and has refused permission for the taxpayer to appeal to the Supreme Court. The scheme was used by about 200 people who now face having to pay the tax in full, plus interest, on top of significant fees for use of the scheme itself.

Exchequer Secretary David Gauke said: "This is a great result for the country and it's another example of HMRC taking firm action against the avoidance schemes that would otherwise deprive the UK of billions of pounds. HMRC has a strong track record of quickly and effectively challenging avoidance through the courts, and anyone thinking of using such a scheme needs to carefully consider that.

"When millions of hard working families are playing by the rules, paying what they have to, we will not put up with the use of cleverly structured schemes designed purely to get around the rules.

"I hope that real lessons are learnt from the Court of Appeal's decision."