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Professional Enablers of Tax Avoidance and Evasion

In the budget speech the Chancellor announced further measures to tackle professional enablers of tax avoidance and evasion.

The government is investing a further £155 million in additional resources and new technology for HMRC. This investment is forecast to help bring in £2.3 billion of additional tax revenues by allowing HMRC to tackle tax leakage through avoidance and evasion.

In particular, the resource is earmarked for further tackling those who are engaging in marketed tax avoidance schemes, enhancing efforts to tackle the enablers of tax fraud and hold intermediaries accountable for the services they provide using the corporate criminal offence and increasing HMRC’s ability to tackle non-compliance among mid-size businesses and wealthy individuals.

Tax advisers to send warning letters on taxing offshore assets

Offshore Assets

HMRC has published guidance on a letter which tax advisers and financial institutions may need to send to clients who have income or assets overseas, explaining its wider powers to exchange tax information with other jurisdictions and urging anyone who is in doubt about their offshore tax position to seek advice

Accountants and tax advisers should also have regard for companies they act for that have an offshore or overseas shareholding, especially from recognised tax havens such as BVI or the Channel Islands. Advisers should be aware that this type of company may not have been declared to them. This again will extend to clients who may own overseas properties through overseas companies. Continue reading

HMRC prepares to triple serious tax evasion prosecutions

Tax evasion and aggressive tax avoidance has been at the forefront of many recent budgets. Measures have been announced to collect more of the tax due by targeting HMRC resources to these areas.

The Financial Times (FT) today discusses a drive by HMRC to triple the number of prosecutions of serious and complex tax evaders. The crackdown announced by George Osborne in his Summer Budget will be spearheaded by the civil and criminal investigations teams at the Revenue. Continue reading