The Government has made the following announcement in relation to offshore tax evasion.

The Financial Secretary to the Treasury, David Gauke, has launched a campaign warning offshore tax evaders that HMRC will start to receive details on UK taxpayers from more than 90 countries, under new global agreements championed by the UK.

The Government is giving people one last chance to come clean and get their tax affairs in order. The existing disclosure facilities will be replaced by a new tougher, last chance facility from 2016. Those who continue to evade will face the new tougher financial and criminal sanctions.

David Gauke, the Financial Secretary to the Treasury, said:

“Hiding money in another country at the expense of honest UK taxpayers is not acceptable and we have made it clear we will put a stop to it. Under our new regime the small minority who evade tax offshore, facilitate or turn a blind eye to offshore tax evasion will face tougher sanctions. With over 90 jurisdictions now agreeing to automatic exchanges of information, the net is closing in on offshore tax evaders.”

There is now less than a month for people to use the current facilities to get their offshore tax affairs in order and pay the tax they owe plus any interest due.

HMRC already analyses vast amounts of data, including through its Connect system, which helps to pinpoint people who are exploiting offshore structures to evade tax in the UK. HMRC will start to receive data on UK customers with offshore accounts and trusts from Crown Dependencies and Overseas Territories next year, and over 90 other jurisdictions in 2017.

For further information or if you have any questions please feel free to contact any member of the Tax team.

Please note that this blog is provided for general information only. It is not intended to amount to advice on which you should rely. You must obtain professional or specialist advice before taking, or refraining from, any action on the basis of the content of this blog.

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