By Max Clarke

A loophole that allowed businesses to accelerate capital allowances claims for plant and machinery, thereby obtaining advantageous tax relief, has today been closed by HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC).

The closure of the loophole, which was originally proposed for April 2012, has been brought forward because of evidence that not doing so could lead to the loss of significant revenue to the Exchequer. Legislation, which will have effect from today, will be introduced in the 2012 Finance Bill.Further details on the change will be available on the HMRC website.

“The Government is determined to reduce tax avoidance in order to protect the Exchequer, which provides funding for public services, and maintain fairness for the taxpayer,” said Economic Secretary to the Treasury, Justine Greening. “By ending this loophole today we will preserve important revenue while maintaining a fair system of capital allowances to support business investment.”

Clifford Singer, the head of the False Economy website and tax evasion campaigner commented on the issue of wealthy businesses evading taxes:

“[People] at the bottom and in the middle suffer for the consequences of the banking crash, some of our richest individuals and corporations think they can get away without paying their fair share. It's time to clamp down on tax avoidance."

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