UK’s £1bn crackdown on tax evaders

| April 23, 2009 | 0 Comments

HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) has embarked on a new campaign in order to get millions of pounds of unpaid tax from offshore bank accounts and has used the 2009 Budget to introduce the new “offshore disclosure opportunity” which will run until March 2010.

It is an invitation to people with offshore accounts to disclose if they have failed to pay tax on interest and is the second time such a campaign has been run.

Back in 2007 it raised £450m from 45,000 people with the threat of those being caught with large sums being named and shamed on a HMRC blacklist.

Through the crackdown on tax avoidance by individuals and companies, HMRC is planning to bring in £1bn over the next three years.

The main focus on the scheme is on UK residents who specifically invest in firms overseas in order to reduce their tax which is typically done by not paying income tax on dividends.

People with offshore bank accounts are being given until March next year to voluntarily disclose their failure to pay tax and settle with HMRC.

As part of the investigation anyone who understates their tax bill by £5,000 or more will have an income tax investigation going back five years, while those firms and individuals who have understated tax by £25,000 or more will be publicly named, which will prove as a further warning to tax avoiders.

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