Published on the 20th March this year, the 2017 Finance Bill contains measures that aim to crack down on tax evasion enablers. The bill is over 700 pages in length, and introduces new fines for those offering advice on tax avoidance schemes.
What is an enabler? An enabler is someone who facilitates tax avoidance in anyway, whether this be through designing a scheme or marketing ways to evade tax. The Finance Bill 2017 clarifies that an enabler is:
‘The term “enabler” is intended to include anyone in the supply chain who benefits from an end user implementing tax avoidance arrangements, which are later defeated and without whose involvement the arrangements could not be implemented.’
What Are The Fines For Giving Tax Avoidance Advice?
The Chancellor announced that any professional enablers found guilty of this crime will be fined up to 100 per cent of the amount of tax their client avoided with their help. This is if HMRC conducts an investigation and uncover that the scheme falls on the wrong side of the law.
Why Have New Fines Been Put In Place?
The government hopes to raise at least £10 million in the coming tax year from these new penalties alone. Large scale tax avoidance schemes have repeatedly hit headlines in recent years, and the government hopes that these tough new penalties will help steer accountants and solicitors away from creating schemes to help the wealthy evade paying tax.
I’ve Been Accused Of Tax Fraud, Or Have Given Tax Evasion Advice – What Do I Do?
The courts take tax fraud and evasion very seriously, so if you’ve been accused of this crime it’s essential that you seek assistance from a professional.
Our dedicated team of solicitors are experts in the ever-changing, complex tax legislation and processes. Even if you don’t feel that you’ve done anything wrong, contact us today for advice on what to do next.
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