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French bank BNP Paribas loses multimillion pound UK tax avoidance case


BNP Paribas

In a statement, the HMRC confirmed it has won a case against the French bank, which would see it recoup £35m in tax.

It was alleged that BNP Paribas tried to deploy a complex avoidance scheme involving share dividends.

The bank tried to get a tax exemption from claiming an artificial loss on the purchase and sale of dividends or "dividend stripping", but the tribunal did not uphold the bank's argument.

Penny Ciniewicz, HMRC's director general for customer compliance, said: "Tax avoidance doesn't pay. This decision adds to the comprehensive run of wins by HMRC in which the courts have found against the small minority of taxpayers who seek to avoid tax."

In a statement, BNP Paribas said it would not appeal the tribunal's ruling, which pertained to a transaction dating back to 2005.

The bank also said it "respects the decision", had paid the amount requested in full before the tribunal hearing, and has a "wholly transparent relationship" with the HMRC.