UK Clamps Down on Undeclared Offshore Money

April 14, 2014 Taxation in UK

George OsborneLONDON – Holding undeclared funds overseas will soon be a punishable offense for UK taxpayers.

The government of the UK will soon update the rules against tax evasion, in order to better facilitate the process of investigating the and prosecuting tax cheaters hiding funds and incomes overseas, according to new information provided by the Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne over the weekend during the scheduled spring meeting of the International Monetary Fund.

According to the Chancellor, under the upcoming regulations, law enforcement agencies together with tax authorities may prosecute alleged tax evaders for the sole fact that the taxpayers have not declared money or savings held in overseas accounts, regardless of the reason why the declaration has not yet been made.

Under the current regulations, prior to any legal action being launched against an alleged tax evader, the HMRC is required to reasonably prove that any of the undeclared funds were being hidden with the specific intention of evading tax obligations in the UK.

George Osborne also said that the fines, penalties and jail sentences applied in cases of offshore tax evasion will significantly be increased, and, additionally, tax authorities will increase the rewards offered to whistleblowers coming forward with credible information about tax cheats.

The Chancellor added that by implementing the new rules the government will send a very clear message that “…if you are evading tax, there is no safe haven and we will find you.”

Photo by: Alan Dean