This guide relates to the original consultation and responses.  

For details of legislation published in March 2016 as part of the Finance Bill 2016 see Penalties: Offshore income and CGT.


HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) launched four consultations after the 2015 Summer Budget relating to a new regime to crack down on offshore tax evaders.

Consultation responses and draft legislation were published on 9 December 2015.

Measures under consideration are as follows:

1. Tackling offshore tax evasion: Strengthening civil deterrents for offshore evaders.

This consultation sought views on the options to further strengthen deterrents for tax evaders by increasing penalties and naming evaders and those who enable evasion.

Draft legislation proposes that the penalties for deliberate and deliberate & concealed inaccuracies be increased by 10%.  HMRC also proposes to introduce an asset based penalty for innacuracies relating to offshore income and gains.

2. Tackling offshore tax evasion: Civil sanctions for enablers of offshore evasion.

This consultation sought views on the design of civil sanctions to tackle enablers of offshore evasion, suggesting new civil penalties on those who facilitate evasion so they will face the same penalty as the tax evader.

Draft legislation proposes that:

  • There will be a new tax geared civil penalty for enablers of offshore tax evasion
  • The standard penalty will be 100% of revenue loss
  • The penalty can be reduced for prompted and unprompted disclosure to a minimum of £1,000
  • The names and addresses of enablers could be published

3. Tackling offshore tax evasion: A new corporate criminal offence of failure to prevent the facilitation of evasion.

The government announced its intention to introduce a new corporate criminal offence for failure to prevent tax evasion or the facilitation of tax evasion on their watch. This consultation sought views on the design and potential impacts of the offence.

4. Tackling offshore tax evasion: A new criminal offence for offshore evaders.

The government confirmed its intention to introduce a new criminal offence for tax evaders. This consultation seeks further views on the design of the offence and provides responses to the first consultation on this offence, which took place in Autumn 2014.

Draft legislation proposes that:

  • There will be a new criminal offence where people fail to notify HMRC of their liability to pay tax, fail to submit a return or submit an inaccurate return.
  • The offence can result in a fine or up to six months imprisonment.
  • There will be a threshold of £25,000 so that the offence would only apply to the top 5% of evaders.

Links

Links to the original consultation, the responses and draft legislation for all of the above can be found in HMRC’s document Consultation outcome: Tackling offshore evasion.

Penalties: Offshore income and CGT

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