Crackdown by Treasury

Tax avoidance advisers face tough penalties

Income tax own picAccountants, lawyers and consultants who offer advice on how to evade tax obligations face tough new penalties.

They could be fined the whole of the unpaid tax if proposals from the Treasury are adopted.

At present the advisers can get escape punishment while their clients are only penalised if matters are taken to court.

Financial secretary to the Treasury Jane Ellison said: “These tough new sanctions will make would-be enablers think twice and in turn reduce the number of schemes on the market.”

Launching a 12-week consultation over the new proposals, she said: “People who peddle tax avoidance schemes deny the country of vital tax revenue and this government is determined to make sure they pay. The vast majority of their schemes don’t work and can land their users in court facing large tax bills and other costs.”

The Treasury has made it clear that legitimate tax avoidance, such as the use of ISAs, does not come under its proposals.

The Conservative government has been on a mission to tackle abuse of the rules which is costing the taxpayer nearly £3 billion a year.

This latest plan will include the use of offshore tax havens.


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