Tax fines to rise sharply

OFFSHORE tax evaders will see the penalties they face double under new rules announced by HM Revenue & Customs.

HMRC’s decision to raise the penalty from 100 to 200 per cent of the amount evaded from 6 April this year is designed to push offshore money into more transparent and cooperative jurisdictions.

The penalty for under-reporting income or capital gains tax by moving money to places that share information with the UK only on request has also gone up from 100 to 150 per cent. “The game is up for those going offshore to evade tax,” said David Gauke, exchequer secretary to the Treasury. “With the risk of a penalty worth up to 200 per cent of the tax evaded, they have a great incentive to get their tax affairs in order.”

Barbados, Monaco and Mauritius are among the jurisdictions hit with the biggest increase in fine.