Mr Heaton, chairman of the tax faculty of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales, spoke at the conference, entitled “101 ideas for personal tax planning”, in June. He described 10 ideas for saving National Insurance, including one involving maternity pay. He claims he does not sell “dodgy schemes”.
His comments were recorded by the BBC’s Panorama programme and are due to be broadcast on Monday.
David Gauke, the minister responsible for tax issues, said: “Mr Heaton’s statements are directly at odds with the government’s approach to tackling tax avoidance.
“A member of the panel should not behave in a way that could undermine the GAAR and its effectiveness. Therefore it is right that Mr Heaton resigned from his position.”
The GAAR, passed this summer, is aimed at tackling abusive tax schemes. The panel provides an expert opinion on whether a scheme is reasonable or not. It is not intended to have an effect on tax schemes that can be seen as “reasonable tax planning.”
The panel is chaired by Patrick Mears, senior tax partner at Allen and Overy, a law firm, who led the recruitment process.