HMRC are beginning to implement their strategy for tackling tax evasion.  The government is proposing new laws which require taxpayers with overseas tax liabilities to declare their interests by September 2018.  This comes as the government aims to take advantage of the greater levels of transparency that will be brought about by the implementation of the Common Reporting Standard.  

They are considering new legislation which requires any person who has undeclared UK tax liabilities offshore, to correct this situation by declaring their interest and relevant information to HMRC (“requirement to correct”). 

If a person is found to have “failed to correct” before the September 2018 deadline, then sanctions will be in place to punish them. HMRC say that any penalties would be designed to be proportionate to the offence, but tougher on offshore compliance issues.

The government will be hoping to deliver a clear and strong message that the government is getting much tougher on offshore non-compliance and this is a final chance to put things right before a tougher approach is introduced. Their view is that individuals have been given numerous opportunities to come forward and put their affairs in order.

HMRC will hope to convey a robust message that if you do not cooperate, you will be caught. Only time will tell how effective their strategy will be. There is little doubt, however, that there will be many who take their chances.  

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