HMRC ‘Must Change Approach’ To Successfully Tackle Tax Evasion

Legal Expert Reacts To Offshore Evasion Strategy Document


HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) needs a change in approach rather than more powers if it is to improve its efforts to tackle tax evasion, according to a legal expert reacting to the release of an updated strategy document to combat the issue.

In ‘No Safe Havens 2014’, HMRC has updated its original document published in March last year to outline a new strategy to clamp down on those who conceal income and assets in overseas jurisdictions in order to evade paying tax.

Among the proposals included in the document is the planned introduction of a new criminal offence - removing the need to establish dishonesty - and increased civil sanctions. HMRC already have the ability to impose a penalty of up to 200% of the tax for certain offences.

The new sanctions are likely to include non-financial ones. This could mean the removal of the need for deliberate behaviour by an errant taxpayer before their details are published on HMRC’s website.

HMRC is expected to consult on the detail of the proposals later this year.