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News - 12 April 2014

Osborne sets out new penalties for Offshore tax evasion.

People who hide their money overseas to avoid paying tax face bigger fines and could be jailed more easily under government plans to fight tax evasion. To prosecute at present, tax officials must prove a person holding income offshore has intended to evade tax. But under a new criminal standard, officials would only have to show money was taxable and undeclared.

A Labour spokesperson said the government was "failing to tackle tax avoidance and evasion".

Tonmoy Kumar, Manager of the Accounts Department of ABDS comments:
“In recent months, the UK has joined other G20 countries in focusing on moves to share information about tax evasion. Now, Mr Osborne says the government will consult on a new criminal standard, harsher fines and increased jail sentences. At present, offshore tax evaders can be fined twice the amount they owe, and can face criminal prosecution and a possible prison sentence.”

Mr Osborne predicted a tax deal struck between the British and Swiss governments in 2011 would recover about £3bn in previously unpaid taxes in 2013. Figures have shown that about £800m was collected last year.

Mr Osborne, who is in Washington DC for the spring meeting of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank, said: "A very important part of our economic plan is that everyone makes a fair contribution.

TK continues:
“HMRC have to prove proper intent to commit tax evasion not on a strict liability basis. Hopefully, what we will see will be criminal charges intended to give further encouragement to those who have been evading tax to come forward.”

Shadow exchequer secretary Shabana Mahmood said: "For all the tough talk, this government is failing to tackle tax avoidance and evasion.”

Prime Minister David Cameron made tax a key issue during Britain's presidency of the G8 last year.

More than £1.5bn has been recovered from offshore tax evaders over the past two years, according to HM Revenue & Customs.

If you need any help and advice with your Tax compliance and planning, contact Lavinia Newman, Stuart Coleman or Tonmoy Kumar to discuss how ABDS can help in all your financial planning and business advice.

ABDS Chartered Certified Accountants of Southampton.
Tel: 023 8083 6900  E-mail: abds@netaccountants.net

Brilliant with numbers   
Great with people  
Clear and precise with advice
Timely and cost effective 
In touch with issues that face our clients
Mindful of our client’s long term strategic goals

Helping Your Business is Our Business

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