UK announces tough new sanctions for offshore tax evaders
The proposals will mean that those who do not come forward and pay outstanding taxes from offshore investments and accounts, could face even tougher penalties of up to three times the tax they try to evade, and increase their risk of potential criminal charges.
HMRC will be even better able to target evaders from October 2016, when it starts to receive an unprecedented amount of data on those with offshore accounts in the Crown Dependencies and Overseas Territories – one year ahead of even more data coming in from across the globe, when the Common Reporting Standard comes into force.
Alongside these changes, HMRC will open its Worldwide Disclosure Facility (WDF) from 5 September 2016.
The WDF, announced at Budget 2015, allows those with outstanding tax to pay to put their affairs in order and will offer no special terms. HMRC will release further details when it opens.
HMRC has been clear that that not paying tax by failing to disclose your offshore income and investments is illegal.
In 2014-15 HMRC brought in £26.6 billion from tackling tax evasion and avoidance, and since 2010 has raised more than £2.5 billion from offshore evasion initiatives. ■