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A draconian deterrent

A strict liability criminal offence for off-shore tax declarations can only lead to one grim outcome, warns Robert Maas

14 January 2015

Last August HMRC issued two consultation papers on overseas tax evasion, 'Tackling Offshore tax evasion: A new criminal offence' and 'Tackling offshore tax evasion: Strengthening civil deterrents'. The government announced on 10 December that they intend to proceed with the latter. However there has been no further word on the proposed new criminal offence, although the HMRC website states: "We are analysing your feedback. Visit this page soon to download the outcome to this public feedback."

As the consultation ended on 31 October and all of the main professional bodies slammed the proposals in their responses, this probably means that the government has not yet made up...

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