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Onshore tax evaders to face tough new penalties

Tax evaders will be looking over their shoulders after the introduction of new sanctions as part of new plans by HM Revenue and Customs.

The proposals mean that anyone who fails to confess to and pay any outstanding taxes due on any offshore accounts and investments could be faced with even harsher penalties. These could be up to a possible three times the amount of tax they attempt to evade, with a higher risk of criminal charges.

From October this year, HMRC will be granted more data on offshore accounts from Overseas Territories and the Crown Dependencies. This is 12 months in advance of additional worldwide data when the Common Reporting Standard is implemented.

Jane Ellison, Financial secretary to the Treasury, said:

“This is a game-changer in the fight against evasion, and it’s time for anyone who is evading tax to do the right thing and pay what they owe.”

HMRC will also launch its Worldwide Disclosure Facility (WDF) from September 5. The WDF, which was announced in last year’s budget, enables anyone who owes tax to come up to date on payments. Further details will be released when the facility has officially opened.

HMRC has made it clear that failing to pay tax through a disclosure of offshore investments and income is against the law. During 2014/15, the tax body brought in £26.6bn from tax avoidance and evasion, and post-2010, raised over £2.5bn from initiatives designed to tackle offshore evasion.

For all UK firms, offshore income or not, employing the services of an accountant in the Wirral would be a wise move towards avoiding the wrath of HMRC.

Posted by Peter
September 6, 2016

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