One notable announcement coinciding with the Chancellor’s Spring Statement was a further crackdown on offshore tax evaders and their advisers as part of an initiative called No Safe Havens 2019.
A Treasury document outlined HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) strategy for reducing the amount of overseas tax evasion. This includes hefty punishments for those found to be transgressing.
The document states: “We will relentlessly pursue enablers using the new penalty regime for anyone who designs, sells or otherwise enables the use of a tax avoidance arrangement which HMRC later defeats.
“Similarly, we will impose new civil penalties on those who deliberately enable another person’s offshore evasion or non-compliance.”
It went on to reveal that HMRC has collected data on 3 million UK residents’ offshore financial interests during the last year and is beginning to detect cases of possible non-compliance.
The crackdown on offshore tax evasion should not be confused with offshore bonds which are completely above board and meet all regulatory requirements.