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Monday, Jul 22, 2024

HMRC Faces Criticism for Failing to Penalize Offshore Tax Fraud Enablers

The UK's tax authority, HMRC, has not fined any 'enabler' of offshore tax evasion despite having new powers since 2017. This lack of action comes amid ongoing issues with tax evasion impacting the forthcoming election, with both major parties relying on potential revenues. Critics have labeled HMRC's inaction as ineffective and have called for more substantial enforcement.
The UK's tax authority, HMRC, has failed to fine any 'enabler' of offshore tax evasion in the last five years, even with new powers introduced in 2017 to impose significant penalties.

These powers aimed at creating a level playing field by targeting accountants, lawyers, and bankers facilitating tax evasion.

Despite revelations from the Bureau of Investigative Journalism showing no fines issued, tax evasion remains a critical issue in the upcoming election, with both major political parties counting on collected revenues for policy funding.

HMRC defines enablers as those who knowingly assist clients in tax avoidance or evasion, a key part of its strategy.

Former Treasury financial secretary Lucy Frazer promised data on the 'offshore tax gap' by 2023, but it remains unpublished.

Critics, including tax expert Dan Neidle and King's College academic Stephen Daly, call HMRC's inaction 'bizarre' and ineffective in deterring tax fraud.

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