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HMRC given power to target tax evasion

HM Revenue and Customs is to be given additional powers with the Government for targeting businesses and entrepreneurs that keep monies offshore, making the most out of its revenues.

Avoidance schemes with similarities to those that have previously been outlawed will have to pay any disputed tax before having their case heard. The Chancellor also announced a consultation that will allow HMRC to access the bank accounts of debtors to take off any due tax as long as a minimum of £5,000 remains in the accounts.

Safe Havens, a new document, describes plans for a law that comes with a potential prison term, if broken, for those found with undeclared funds offshore. This also applies to anyone without any intentions of evading tax.

Presently, HMRC needs to offer proof that individuals had an intention to avoid paying tax on international funds. The new law is likely to result in a greater number of people stepping forward to declare any overseas accounts.

Rebecca Busfield, who is one of the founders of Watt Busfield, a tax investigations company, said:

“HMRC have clearly reacted to parliamentary criticism of their perceived poor record in prosecuting alleged tax evaders, highlighted by the spectacular failure to obtain a conviction in the trial in 2012 of a high profile football manager.”

An accountant in the Wirral and up and down the UK will be able to spot any discrepancies, as long as the business owner has provided everything they can. The accountant will need to make sure absolutely everything matches up as it should, to ensure that their clients are not subjected to these new penalties.

Posted by Peter
April 24, 2014

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