In today’s Budget (March 15), chancellor Jeremy Hunt announced the maximum sentence for the “most egregious” forms of tax fraud has been doubled from seven to 14 years.
Tax fraud can include running a business without telling HM Revenue & Customs, not paying enough income tax or national insurance, and making false claims for child benefit or tax credits.
It can also include not being registered for VAT when they should be, not charging or paying VAT or other taxes on goods or services they sell, and hiding money, shares or other assets in an offshore bank account.
The government announced last year it will invest £48.8mn in a new counter-fraud authority to step up efforts against fraud.
In his Spring Statement former chancellor Rishi Sunak said the authority would work in tandem with counter-fraud work happening across the British Business Bank and the National Intelligence Service.