No fines for offshore tax avoiders claiming “innocent errors”

Offshore savers will not face a fine for failing to pay tax if it was due to
“innocent errors”, HMRC has said.

As part of its second tax amnesty for those with offshore accounts, the
taxman will not impose fines for those who have been misled by financial
professionals or have suffered bereavement or serious illness, reported the BBC.

However, those that simply claim ignorance of the tax laws will still face an
additional 10% charge on the unpaid tax.

The announcement came as the UK and Switzerland agreed to exchange tax
information as part of the international drive to clamp down on tax avoidance.

“I very much welcome the Swiss Federal Council’s agreement on international
co-operation in tax matters and their adoption of the OECD standard on
administrative assistance,” said Treasury financial secretary Stephen Timms. ”
The days when hiding money off-shore represented a viable means of evading UK
tax are rapidly drawing to a close.”

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