Parliament will help HMRC with its well established slogan ensuring we all “pay the right amount of tax” by making sure it has more funding available to pursue evasion and non-compliance. HMRC will be provided with an extra £750m to tackle amongst other things offshore tax evasion, and more powers to gather data from institutions and advisors, offshore or otherwise. Small and medium business units will receive a further £300m and funding for criminal investigations which will be stepped up for complex tax crime.
Empowered with such resources, HMRCs computer system CONNECT will further help target those who are seen to be underpaying tax, and assist with specific tax collection campaigns.
Marketed avoidance scheme providers are still caught in the spotlights, and serial avoiders who continue to use structured products face tougher reporting regimes, “name and shame” and even a General Anti-Abuse Rule (GAAR) penalty, though details on that are yet to be published.
A grim outlook for those who still have an appetite for exploring the no mans land of aggressive avoidance and evasion.