UK vows crackdown on tax evasion, offshore scams, sets £2 billion target
30 Oct 2018

Britain will seek to boost its efforts to combat tax evasion and avoidance at home and offshore by launching measures that could raise billions for the Treasury, Chancellor Philip Hammond said in his Budget speech.

Over the years, HMRC has announced various plans to tackle tax evasion and avoidance, and the government is looking to expand on these.

Since 2010, it has secured £185bn ‘which would otherwise have gone unpaid,’ Hammond said.

“Today we continue the work of the past eight years … with a package of measures today to further clamp down on tax avoidance, evasion, and unfair outcomes raising another £2bn over the next five years.

“We’ll end the practice of purchasing services through overseas branches to avoid UK VAT,” he said, “and we’ll crack down on insurance companies routing services through offshore territories.”

Earlier this year, HMRC issued a warning to offshore tax dodgers when it published proposals to allow more time to investigate when someone hasn’t declared the right amount of tax.

Although the government says it has recouped billions from evasion and other forms of non-compliance, critics say it could be getting more but it is challenged financially and has failed to effectively prosecute serious tax evasion cases, allegations HMRC denies.

Irene Madongo

Image: Credit EU2017EE Estonia Presidency

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