UK to Publicly Ridicule Offshore Tax Evasion

February 25, 2014 Taxation in UK

HMRC campaignLONDON – UK tax authorities are flaunting their greater ability to track down international tax evaders due to increasing international tax cooperation.

On February 24th the HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) launched a new public campaign to increase awareness of the problem of revenue loss from offshore tax evasion, and to also encourage the evaders to come forward and fulfill their obligations in the UK.

According to the HMRC, by starting the program they are declaring that “…the days of hiding money in another country to cheat the UK are coming to an end,” and assured the public that “…the UK government is on the side of the hardworking majority of people and companies who pay the tax they owe.”

Heralding the launch of the new program, the Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne noted that most private and corporate taxpayers in the UK are honest with their tax obligations, however the small proportion of taxpayers involved in tax evasion must clearly understand that through their own choices they will eventually face penalties of up to 200 percent of the amount of the taxes owed, and may face criminal prosecution resulting and prison sentences.

The Chancellor also warned that the new push to catch tax evaders is backed by the increasing ability of the HMRC to collect a greater amount of data from international tax authorities and financial institutions, and this this new capability will help the HMRC to “…close the net on those who think they do not have to play by the rules.”

Photo by: HM Revenue & Customs