UK government clampdown on tax dodgers

The Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, and the Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Danny Alexander, have announced new action to clamp down on tax dodgers

The action includes:
• New £77m funding for HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) in this Spending Review period to expand their anti-avoidance and evasion activity, specifically those focusing on offshore evasion and avoidance by wealthy individuals and by multinationals. This is expected to bring in an additional £2bn per year in tax that would have otherwise gone unpaid;
• A groundbreaking agreement with the US, the first of its kind anywhere, that will significantly increase the amount of information on potentially taxable income automatically exchanged between both countries and further enhance HMRC’s ability to tackle offshore evasion. This sets a new standard in international tax transparency aimed at tackling tax evasion and the Government will look to conclude similar agreements with other jurisdictions;
• Steps to close the net on the marketers of aggressive tax avoidance schemes, including the introduction of new information disclosure rules and HMRC sanctions for the ‘cowboy’ advisers who sell such schemes;
HMRC is also publishing Closing in on Tax Evasion, which sets out HMRC’s current approach to tax evasion, particularly their use of third party data.

Building on this work and a new ‘centre of excellence’ for offshore evasion within HMRC, the department will develop a comprehensive strategy for tackling offshore evasion to be published in spring 2013.