Accountants and Banks Will Be Liable for Tax Evasion

March 20, 2015 Taxation in UK

LONDON – Accountants, lawyers, and banks who facilitate tax evasion will now be liable for the amount of taxes evaded.

On March 19th the Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander announced that the government will implement new measures which will make it a criminal offence to provide assistance to entities in evading their tax obligations.

Under the details of the new rules banks, accountants, lawyers, and other professionals may be held liable for failing to prevent tax evasion and for making tax evasion possible.

If found guilty of the new offenses, the organization may be held liable for penalties equivalent to the amount of taxes evaded.

In addition to the penalties, the government will also have powers to “name and shame” offenders.

Further, tax evaders will face ‘strict liability’ for tax evasion, meaning that they will no longer be able to plead ignorance to any tax evasion committed with the help of another person or entity.

The HM Revenue and Customs claims that the new tax measures may help raise as much as GBP 5 billion per year of taxes which would otherwise have remained unpaid or evaded.

Photo By: Brian Turner