Tax evaders and their banks will be prosecuted, says UK government

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Companies that fail to prevent tax evasion will be charged under new rules that aim to earn the Treasury an extra £5 billion a year.

“We inherited from the previous government a tax system that had more holes than a Swiss cheese and was more complex than a Rubik’s cube. The opportunities for those who wish to get away without paying were many and varied,” said Liberal Democrat chief secretary to the Treasury, Danny Alexander.

“Strict liability will bring an end to the defence of ‘I knew nothing, it was my accountant, m’lord”

He added: “We will increase financial penalties for offshore evaders, including, for the first time, linking the penalty to underlying assets. A billionaire evading £5m of tax will not just be liable for that £5m.”

A new document signed by Alexander and (Conservative) Chancellor George Osborne claims that under the new regulations, “it will no longer be possible to evade large sums of tax and plead ignorance in an attempt to avoid criminal prosecution.”

Financial firms and corporates caught facilitating tax evasion will be liable for fines equal or greater to the amount owed in tax, it says.

Names of tax evaders will also be published, increasing public scrutiny.

 

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