Transactions in securities – where are we now?

31 May 2016
Author: Ray McCann

Originally printed in Business Tax Voice in May 2016


Even by today’s standards when anti-avoidance legislation seems to be more and more radical, the Transactions in Securities rules (TIS) were widely seen as condemning tax avoidance transactions to history with some early judicial comment describing them as making tax avoidance no longer possible. As is now clear, this was true only so far as the tax avoidance was within their scope and over the intervening years the Revenue found that the scope of these provisions was very limited indeed. So much so that in the cases of Kleinwort Benson, Sema Group Pension fund and Laird Group, arrangements that the Revenue could reasonably believe were fairly within the cross hairs of the TIS rules escaped. Thus it is clear that where they did apply their impact was severe, so much so that even fifty years on no other provision operates quite like them, but they did not apply very often.

Ray McCann takes a look at the history of the TIS rules and considers the impact of the Tax Law rewrite programme and the 2016 changes.

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