Britons hiding income in tax havens overseas to be made criminal offence Tough new measure was announced by George Osbourne at U.S. meeting It could help recoup some of 15billion in tax that goes missing each year HMRC estimates that outright tax evasion costs the Exchequer 5billion
By Alex Brummer City Editor In Washington
Published: 18:42 EST, 11 April 2014 | Updated: 18:47 EST, 11 April 2014
Tough new measure: Chancellor George Osborne has announced that it will be a criminal offence for residents to hide income in tax havens overseas
Britain is to declare war on tax dodging by making it a criminal offence for residents to hide income in tax havens overseas.
The tough new measure, announced by George Osborne at a meeting of finance ministers in the U.S., could help recoup some of the 15billion in personal tax and national insurance that goes missing each year.
HM Revenue & Customs estimates that outright tax evasion costs the Exchequer 5billion.
The Chancellor said: We are changing the balance of the law, so HMRC dont have to prove someone intended to hide their money offshore to evade tax, just that they did so and didnt pay tax.
The message is clear with this new criminal offence: if you are evading tax, there is no safe haven and we will find you.
The legislation will be attached to the finance bill, currently in the House of Commons, and will be published first thing on Monday morning.