The General Anti-Abuse Rule

The General Anti-Abuse Rule (GAAR), that came into force on 17 July 2013,  is one part of the Government's approach to managing the risk of tax avoidance. It has been introduced to strengthen HM Revenue & Customs' (HMRC's) anti-avoidance strategy and help HMRC tackle abusive avoidance. The GAAR legislation defines what are, for its purposes, tax arrangements that are abusive.

But just because something isn't covered by the GAAR doesn't mean it won't be tackled in another way. HMRC will continue to tackle tax avoidance using existing anti-avoidance methods as well as the GAAR, where appropriate.

The GAAR applies to the following taxes:

  • Income Tax
  • Corporation Tax (including amounts chargeable or treated as Corporation Tax)
  • Capital Gains Tax
  • Inheritance Tax
  • Petroleum Revenue Tax
  • Stamp Duty Land Tax
  • Annual Residential Property Tax

An independent advisory panel has been set up to give opinions on specific cases and approve the GAAR guidance.

Find information about the GAAR Advisory Panel

You can download the current guidance from the following links:

Read the previous versions of the GAAR guidance

Download more information about the GAAR

Read the GAAR legislation in Part 5 and Schedule 43 of Finance Act 2013:

The GAAR study by Graham Aaronson on the National Archive website (PDF 243K) (Opens new window)
GAAR Consultation document (PDF 322K)
GAAR Consultation Response document (PDF 173K)

If you have any further comments about the GAAR, you can email them to HMRC.

Email your GAAR comments to HMRC