1. The first statement of this declaration does nothing more than ask that you make all your tax declarations on time and that you ensure that they are complete in all respects.
What it also implies is that if you are in doubt about the way in which any part of your affairs should be disclosed for tax purposes then you seek independent advice on that issue and if doubt still remains that you, or your accountants or other tax advisers acting on your behalf, agree to disclose that uncertainty to HM Revenue & Customs so that they have the opportunity to decide upon it.
2. The tax havens that we think you should avoid using for tax purposes (but not if you have real commercial interests in an actual trade taking place in those locations) are listed in an appendix to this declaration. This list is based upon the work of the Tax Justice Network and is based on the Financial Secrecy Index that they publish that is updated every two years.
3. Statement 3 of the declaration refers to any arrangement that may require to be disclosed to HM Revenue & Customs under what are called the Disclosure of Tax Avoidance Schemes rules. More details are to be found here http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/aiu/ . Any scheme that might also potentially fall foul of the General Anti-Abuse Rule introduced in 2013 would also be covered by this statement.
If you are in any doubt as to whether either of these situations apply to you (and they tend to only relate to specially packaged tax avoidance schemes) you definitely need to seek independent professional advice.
4. Statement 4 extends the restrictions in statement 3 to any scheme that may be considered to be tax avoidance. This does not apply to things such as saving in pension schemes or ISAs and nor does it prevent the claiming of any appropriate business expenses or allowances. It also does not prevent you incorporating your business to obtain a tax saving as the law specifically allows that.
If you have any doubt about what tax avoidance is and the risks it involves we suggest you read the HM Revenue & Customs guidance published on their page “Tempted by tax avoidance?”
In general HMRC’s advice on this issue is that if an arrangement for tax saving looks too good to be true, or feels artificial, then it almost certainly is and it is best to steer well clear of it.