In Howard Schofield V HMRC [2011]  an artificial capital loss scheme was found not to work.

The Court of Appeal has found that a tax scheme devised by Price Waterhouse Coopers (PWC) capital tax loss scheme was “a thinly disguised attempt to undermine the Ramsay principle”, according to one of the Judges who heard the case in the Court of appeal. 

The case dated back to 2002/03 and involved approximately £11 million of artificial losses created to avoid capital gains tax. The scheme like many avoidance schemes used a series of circular steps involving complex financial instruments the sole purpose of which was to avoid tax. The courts looked at the individual steps but applying Ramsay focused on the transaction as a whole.

Related articles:

How do you spot a tax 'cowboy'?
David Gauke cracks down on rogue firms selling abusive tax schemes

What is the Ramsay principle in tax?
A mini-guide

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