The government pledged another tax clampdown yesterday, with the implementation of a so-called “Google tax” taking centre stage.
The Treasury expects to raise £3.1bn over the next five years through the various measures announced.
There has been ongoing concern in many quarters over what is perceived to be an unfair diversion of taxes by multinationals to cheaper jurisdictions. Close to £560m is set to come from a crackdown on offshore tax havens, using the Common Reporting Standard, a database on offshore accounts in 90 countries.
A further £715m is to be derived from closing corporation tax loopholes which exploit “contrived losses”. In order to close this loophole, companies will be prevented from bringing forward reliefs on trading losses, making it harder to claim relief on losses from previous years.
A new “last chance” disclosure mechanism will be introduced next year, meaning tougher sanctions on those evading tax with penalties of at least 30 per cent on top of tax owed and interest. And there will be no immunity from criminal prosecutions in appropriate cases.