New criminal offence and penalties for offshore tax evaders

On 19 August HMRC published two new consultation documents setting out plans to tackle offshore tax evasion. These consultations take forward HMRC’s strategy, No Safe Havens, which was released earlier this year and stressed that reducing your tax bill by hiding income and assets overseas was criminal behavior:

  • Consultation on new criminal offence for offshore tax evasion – this consultation concerns a new strict-liability criminal offence of failing to declare taxable offshore income and gains.
  • Consultation on extended civil penalties for offshore tax evasion – this consultation paper sets out the government’s plans to introduce tougher civil sanctions for offshore evaders, including those who move their taxable assets between offshore banks in different countries in an attempt to hide their wealth and evade tax.

Both consultations are open until 31 October 2014.

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