More risks of failed avoidance

The government doesn’t much like tax avoidance. One of the ways they seek to discourage it can be found in the snappily-titled Procurement Policy Note 03/14 issued by the Cabinet Office in February 2014. This requires central government departments to include in any tender documents for contracts worth more than £5m a question asking whether the tenderer has been involved in any failed tax avoidance schemes.

Slightly oddly the implication is that it’s OK to succeed in avoiding tax but reprehensible to try and fail. PPN 03/14 doesn’t apply outside of central government. But it seems that some pressure is now being put onto local government to ask similar questions. It’s not directly suggested that “bad taxpayers” should be excluded from tendering – but it is suggested that a record of failed tax avoidance could properly be taken into account by a local authority as part of the tendering process.

It is not yet clear which authorities, if any, plan to implement PPN 03/14 on a voluntary basis. But it is yet another straw in the wind as regards increasing hostility to aggressive tax avoidance.



Sam Inkersole

In 2022, Sam won the Taxation’s Rising Star award at the Taxation Awards in and was named in the Accountancy Age 35 Under 35.

Jon Wedge

While Jon’s client work focuses on the financial services sector, he also oversees the firm’s assurance service, as well as supporting the trainees following in his footsteps.


Elana joined us in 2017 as an ACA trainee, after graduating from Durham University where she had studied languages. She is now a manager in our assurance team.


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