In May 2016, HMRC announced a curb on disguised remuneration schemes using gold bullion as an asset, saying in its view they constitute tax avoidance and warning that it plans to crack down on individuals who continue to use them, reports CCH Daily.
But despite those warnings, some boutique firms continue to promote them.
One scheme aimed at people working through personal service companies promises to ‘do the necessary paperwork for you and your company’.
‘One option is for your company to pay your net of tax wages in “money’s worth”, which means other than cash, for instance, we discussed the examples that you could ask your company to pay you in gold sovereigns,’ a proposal seen by CCH Daily states.
Gold has proven a popular investment asset with prices on the rise and is especially attractive for those looking to essentially minimise tax liability since gains are non-taxable.
‘Your company could buy a coin and use it as part payment of your wages, the value would be its cost, and the balance of wages would be paid from the bank account. You could then sell your coin if you wanted to add to the money received from the company,’ the pitch adds.
CCH Daily's source, themselves an accountant, said: ‘Any benefit you get out of this is still taxable income. It’s clearly a scheme to stop you falling into the service company category, rather than tax minimisation within your bracket.’
HMRC has been contacted for comment.