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Are you compliant?

Many unwitting tax payers will be caught by the scope of the finance bill's strict liability criminal offense, regardless of the new safeguards

4 March 2016

Following a consultation over the summer of 2015 and despite concerns raised by professional bodies, the government published draft legislation in December 2015 confirming its intention to introduce a new criminal offence for people who fail to declare offshore income or gains accurately.

As one of a number of measures introduced to tackle offshore tax evasion, which includes the strengthening of civil sanctions and broader government strategies such as the automatic tax information exchange rules with the Crown Dependencies and the OECD Common Reporting Standards, the new criminal offence has greatly changed the offshore landscape for felonious, as well as more law abiding, tax payers.

The new offence applies if a taxpayer has offshore income, assets or offshore activities and, where required to do so, either:

  • fails to notify HMRC...

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