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Government continues tax evasion clampdown with further four consultations

The chancellor told the Commons in his emergency budget that targeting tax evaders will bring in a further £5bn in tax revenue

16 July 2015

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HMRC has launched four new consultations on new ways in which the revenue authority can tackle offshore tax evasion.

The consultations are, Tackling offshore tax evasion: Strengthening civil deterrents for offshore evaders; Tackling offshore tax evasion: Civil sanctions for enablers of offshore evasion; Tackling offshore tax evasion: A new corporate criminal offence of failure to prevent the facilitation of evasion; and Tackling offshore tax evasion: A new criminal offence for offshore evaders.

The move follows on from the growing global and domestic drive to markedly increase transparency in personal finance, and reduce the avenues tax payers can use to avoid tax.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, announced in the governments emergency budget, that a clampdown on 'tax evasion, avoidance and aggrieve tax planning' will bring in a further £5bn.

Jason Collins, a partner at law firm Pinsent Masons, commented on the potential effects of a new criminal offence for 'failing to prevent the facilitation of evasion'.

'The proposed legislation allows HMRC to target a very broad range of organisations. It is not only banks that will be affected by the creation of the new criminal offence, but a long list of accountancy and law firms, trustees and financial advisers', he said.

He continued: '[It] is also extremely broad geographically, with foreign corporations falling within its scope, as well as UK corporations that facilitate the evasion of taxes overseas, even if there is no loss to HM Treasury in this country.'

The second proposed criminal offence will target offshore tax evaders directly, and will have a global territorial scope.


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Tax & Wealth structuring