An offshore tax scheme is best described as a tax avoidance scheme as that is primarily what it is intended to do! Be warned though that any work carried out in the UK, whether you are a UK national or not, is subject to UK Taxation Laws.
The temptation to pay as little tax and national insurance as possible is huge and there are many legitimate UK based schemes that enable you to do this without the need to take the risk with offshore schemes.
You may have researched these and learned of recent cases involving BN66, and the IT contractor who has been ordered to repay taxes because the offshore scheme he was using, which was fully supported by expert opinion, has been deemed to be illegal. HMRC can go all the way back to 1987, for both tax and interest, so it really is a very risky business.
The best thing to do is to consider all of your options, and make a judgement based on whether something is likely to attract HMRC’s criticism. Sometimes it takes time, but HMRC’s job is to collect taxes of UK tax payers, and that’s exactly what they’ll do, and eventually that will mean passing laws to close down such schemes.
The other point to consider is your recruitment agency. Most will now go no-where near companies registered anywhere other than England and Wales, and so if you elect to use a scheme offshore, your recruitment options will be severely limited. There are schemes out there that use a UK based ‘front’ company and tell the recruitment company there is no offshore involvement. But we look at like this – if they’re prepared to lie to a recruitment company in that way, what else are they prepared to lie to you about?
Get a good night’s sleep, use the cps group and stick with our UK based services.