Those who enable tax evasion will be held liable

Those who enable tax evasion will be held liable

Financial services professionals who enable tax evasion will face the same penalties as their clients under new legislation from the Treasury.

Chief secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander said people who assist tax evasion will face the same civil penalties as the evaders themselves, and both are to be ‘named and shamed’.

In a statement, the Treasury said it will “name and shame” both evaders and those who enable evasion.

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It will also be a criminal offence for corporates to fail to prevent tax evasion or the facilitation of tax evasion on their watch, and the Treasury will introduce a strict liability criminal offence for offshore evasion so it will no longer be possible to plead ignorance.

Mr Alexander said: “I have made a great deal of progress in shutting down those loopholes and clamping down on aggressive avoidance and evasion.

“But now I am announcing that we are going even further.

“Tax evasion is a crime like any other. If people help a burglar, they are accomplices and criminals too. Now it will be the same for those that help tax evaders.”

The government will consult on the detail of the new evasion regime.

Adviser view

Tina Weeks, financial life planner for London-based Serenity Financial Planning, said: “Tax evasion remains a contentious topic and the chancellor will not be doing any harm in clamping down further, as trailed at numerous points prior to the Budget.”