HM Revenue & Customs has announced new measures for offshore tax evaders this week, hide taxable offshore income and gains will be in danger of criminal prosecution. As of today, not declaring taxable offshore income and gains is a civil offence but HMRC is seeking to carry it out as criminal offence.
The document known as No Safe Havens, is another step up in the fight against international tax evaders including some sanctions to force evaders to pay back 200% of unpaid tax and prison sentences.
The agreement described by George Osborne, Chancellor of the Exchequer and Second Lord of the Treasury, as “the largest tax evasion settlement in UK history” last year raised just a third of the £3.2bn expected.
This liability criminal offence of failing to declare taxable income and offshore gains will involves the accusation need only demonstrate that a person failed to correctly declare the income or gains, not that they did it with the purpose of defrauding.
It is expected to find money hidden in foreign bank accounts much more easily when new measures come into force.
The government are hoping that the threat of harsh criminal penalties will attract more people to step forward instead of waiting for the taxman to come calling. David Gauke, financial secretary to the Treasury, said “Over 56,000 people have already told HMRC about what they owe offshore and HMRC has offered opportunities to clear things up as quickly and easily as possible. Those that don’t come forward must face tough consequences, including a criminal conviction”
If you need more information about the new measures as well as advice about a particular case, we will manage your consultation with a total confidentiality, call MCC Accountants today on 0161 707 1500 or contact us via our contact page.