#AceFinanceNews – LONDON – HMRC – April 12 – According to the article in the BBC News today George Osborne is intending to clamp down on tax dodgers or people with overseas bank accounts.
My first question does this include the tax authorities and MP’s that have companies, shareholdings or private trusts in offshore domains?
Or just as he put it only people who hide their money overseas to avoid paying tax.
His plan is that they will face bigger fines and could be jailed more easily under government plans to fight tax evasion, but no mention of tax avoidance (A legitimate way for those who are rich enough to AVOID) taxation. All in the name of business be it investment, reinvestment or company and corporate liability strategy.
He went onto say he intends to prosecute but at present, tax officials must prove a person holding income offshore has intended to evade tax.
Once again avoiding tax is not mentioned.
He continues – But under a new criminal standard officials would only have to show money was taxable and undeclared.
An onerous statement to say the least.
As no one would have to prove they owe it as according to HMRC Officials, they say under their new rules you do!
I imagine human rights organisations will have something to say about that change.
He then says – The changes would mean there was “no safe haven” for those evading tax.
No mention of not avoiding, once again.
But Labour’s shadow exchequer secretary to the Treasury said the government was “failing to tackle tax avoidance and evasion”.
A consultation will be held to let the public have their say on the plans.
Should you care to read his article it is at http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-26998208
HM Revenue & Customs (Photo credit: jam_90s)
A statement from The Rt Hon Margaret Hodge MP, Chair of the Committee of Public Accounts:
People who pay their taxes promptly and in full will be dismayed to discover that the enormous level of tax avoidance taking place is overwhelming HMRC’s efforts to combat it. The scale of the problem is staggering. There are tens of thousands of users of mass-marketed avoidance schemes in the UK. HMRC estimates that over £10 billion of tax is at risk owing to individuals and small businesses avoiding paying money that is due.
Between 2004 and 2011, around 2,300 avoidance schemes were disclosed to HMRC, with over 100 new schemes emerging in the past four years. Until tested in court, I am dismayed that these schemes will continue to reap rewards for individual users at the cost of the public purse. This is particularly galling at a time of pinched resources affecting essential services.
HMRC is struggling to understand what impact its anti-avoidance activities are having. It is overcome by an eye-watering 41,000 open cases of which over 5,000 have sat unresolved for between five and ten years. My concern is that without a credible plan to resolve these cases and to stamp out future avoidance, the public will lose confidence in the tax system’s ability to collect even-handedly what is due from all individuals and companies.
HMRC must step up its enforcement activity to clamp down on promoters of schemes who fail to disclose properly. The DOTAS reporting regime is quickening HMRC’s action against avoidance schemes. But HMRC is constantly playing catch-up as new schemes open up. Fines are being applied in far too few cases to serve as a meaningful deterrent. HMRC needs a robust plan to tackle its mountain of open cases. It needs to start collecting the right information to demonstrate to the public that its anti-avoidance approach works as well as is possible. HMRC should also use this information to press the case for how future tax yields can be improved with appropriate levels of trained staff.