Offshore avoidance faces new penalties

NEW PENALTIES FOR offshore tax avoidance based on the transparency of the tax haven involved will come into force on 6 April.

Individuals will face penalties for non-compliance relating to the payment of income and capital gains tax. The severity of the penalties will partly depend on the countries where the money is held.

The tax havens will be ranked into three categories, depending on the level of information they share with the UK. Category one countries automatically share information, category two countries provide information on request and category three includes countries that do not provide information at all.

David Hartnett, permanent secretary for tax at HM Revenue & Customs, said: “This is the next step in increasing the deterrent against offshore non-compliance – and those who decide to take the risk will feel the full force of HMRC’s new penalties.”

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