Are you a tax dodger? HMRC is coming for you, big time

Pledge to clamp down on tax evaders

HM Revenue & Customs has said it will triple the number of prosecutions of “serious and complex” tax evaders thanks to new powers.

Tax revenue will increase £7.2bn thanks to a massive crackdown on tax dodging, according to Chancellor George Osborne.

James Bullock, a senior tax lawyer at Pinsent Masons told the FT it remained to be seen how successful the prosecutions will be, however: “For the first time in my career, they are looking at the kind of people that Margaret Hodge, as chair of the PAC, wanted them to go after,” he said.

HMRC has been criticised in the past for going after easy targets such as benefit fraud and cash-in-hand traders. There is a perception that the government has been softer on the wealthy and big businesses, especially after making tax deals with big avoiders such as Vodafone and Goldman Sachs.

The new proposals could include ensuring tax evaders could not use the claim it was accidental in their defence, and also that charges could be made against companies and not just individual executives.

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