New Year brings in new penalties for enablers of offshore tax evasion

05 January 2017

Accountants, bankers, lawyers and other advisors who enable offshore tax evasion will face tough new sanctions from 1 January 2017.

The raft of measures will create a level playing field for the vast majority of people and businesses who play fair and pay what is due.

The new powers will see individuals or corporates who take deliberate action to help others evade paying tax facing fines of up to 100% of the tax they helped evade or £3000, whichever is highest. On top of this the taxman will also be able to publicly name the enabler.

While tax evasion has always been illegal, this law will mean HMRC can, for the first time, charge civil penalties on the facilitators of the tax evasion who provide planning, advice or other professional services or physically move funds offshore.

The UK is one of the first countries in the world to introduce this power, which was originally announced at Budget 2015 and legislated for in the Finance Bill 2016.