Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne says the 18 March Budget will include further action to tackle tax evasion and tax avoidance, which could trigger a further increase in tax investigations.
Speaking in the Commons on 23 February, answering questions triggered by BBC1’s Panorama report on a tax scandal affecting HSBC’s Swiss subsidiary, Mr Osborne said that the amount collected by HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) “as a result of abuse of this kind has risen from £17 billion to £26 billion.
“That is partly because we have put additional resources into tackling tax evasion and aggressive tax avoidance. We have done a great deal. However, I am the first to say that there is more to be done, and…more will be done in the Budget.”
Mr Osborne went on to say the government was looking “very seriously in the Budget at what further action we can take to tackle not just those who evade their taxes, but those who facilitate that evasion”.
Any new anti-evasion and avoidance measures introduced in the Budget – or as a result of a change of government following the 7 May general election – arelikely to create an enhanced risk of tax investigations.
With this in mind, any taxpayer concerned about their own tax affairs, and who believes they might become subject to a tax investigation, would be wise to seek expert advice.
Our specialists at Taxation-Investigation can provide specialist advice to clarify the situation and on the options available, so that the taxpayer can make informed decisions about the best way forward. We can also assist in mitigating outcomes or presenting a robust defence where tax affairs are in order.
For more information, please contact us.