UK tax evasion penalties come into force

Bankers, lawyers, accountants and advisers who assist with UK tax evasion will be hit with new fines, as the government seeks to crack down on the behaviour.

The changes were announced as part of the then Chancellor George Osborne’s 2015 Budget, and come into force on January 1st 2017.

Those at fault will face fines of up to 100 per cent of the total they helped evade, or £3,000, whichever is highest.

The taxman will also be able to name and shame guilty parties who enable tax evasion or help move money offshore.

It will mean that HMRC can, for the first time, charge civil penalties on the facilitators of the tax evasion; those providing planning, advice or other professional services, or actually move funds offshore.

This year, there’ll also be the creation of a new criminal offence for companies which fail to prevent the facilitation of tax evasion. Financial secretary to the Treasury, Jane Ellison, said: “Tax evasion is a crime and as a government we have led reform of the international tax system to root it out.”