• Spotlight 45 updated after only 3 weeks

  • HMRC cannot advise on which schemes to avoid

Spotlight 45

HMRC has recently published an update to Spotlight 45 to clarify that they cannot comment on the legitimacy of any particular umbrella scheme. Instead, workers are advised to seek independent professional advice where “you are not sure whether you are involved in this type of tax arrangement”.  This comes just 3 weeks after publication of the Spotlight and so, implies that they have received a lot of queries about this.

With many individuals left unsure as to whether they are ramping up tax liabilities, it is disappointing to see HMRC, as the body that should be best placed to help, refuse to assist.

Spotlight 45 was published in August 2018 and sets out cryptic instruction on avoiding working via an umbrella tax avoidance scheme.  Potentially it is the rather vague nature of the notice, which fails to mention any scheme by name or any company, which has led to so many enquiries.


Minden U.K. Limited use Aspire Business Partnership LLP. This firm provide Minden U.K. Ltd with practical and commercially sound advice in relation to all aspects of compliance, business strategy and conflict resolution. Original article can be found on Aspire’s website: