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HMRC Launches New Tax Evasion Initiative

HMRCLast week, Chancellor George Osborne launched his latest attack on those seeking to avoid or evade the payment of taxes by concealing money in off-shore accounts.

The move followed an earlier meeting between G20 finance ministers in Australia, in which ministers endorsed the new global standard for automatic exchange of tax information unveiled by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

At present the UK has agreements with Crown dependencies and Overseas Territories on the sharing of information on off-shore accounts held by UK taxpayers. It hopes that, following agreements reached with France, Spain, Italy and Germany last year, the new global standard will be put into operation in the near future, allowing it to access information from the 42 countries and jurisdictions that have already joined the project.

This, says the Government, should make it increasingly difficult for UK taxpayers to hide assets abroad on which UK tax should be paid.

For the future, the G20 has said that it will work to ensure that developing economies will benefit, alongside the developed economies, from automatic information sharing.

The G20 has also said that it will now focus on global corporations who seek to avoid paying tax by moving profits from state to state. The OECD is currently working on a base erosion and profit shifting project to address this issue.

Contact Lewis Nedas’ Criminal Lawyers in London

If you have been charged in connection with tax evasion or avoidance and require specialist legal advice, please contact our solicitors Jeffrey Lewis or Siobhain Egan on 020 7387 2032 or complete our online enquiry form here.

This blog post is intended as a news item only - no connection between Lewis Nedas and the parties concerned is intended or implied.

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Complete Success in Offshore HMRC Enquiry

Jeffrey Lewis acted for an individual involved in a high profile, long-running, detailed enquiry focusing upon the activities of his offshore account. Thanks to Jeffrey's proactive, tenacious stance, HMRC backed down and admitted after their full enquiry that there were no monies outstanding to them as per their original allegations. Our relieved client is absolutely delighted!

We have been acting and advising individuals facing rigorous HMRC tax enquiries for a number of years and have a high success record. If you have been contacted by HMRC and/or are being investigated, please contact us by telephone on 0207 387 2032 or by completing our online enquiry form here.

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New Offshore Account Offensive by HMRC – by Siobhain Egan

HM Revenue & Customs have recently announced that they have arrested and interviewed eight individuals under caution in relation to offshore accounts. This is as a result of the formation of an elite specialist investigative sub-directorate of HMRC who will aggressively pursue the so-called ‘abuse’ of offshore accounts.

Thanks to recent international cooperation from foreign counterparts, the Revenue have managed to identify some 500,000 individuals who hold such offshore accounts. They have vowed to prosecute at least nine hundred people per year for tax fraud. Each of these individuals will receive a letter from HMRC demanding information about the offshore account. Note that they are not specifically pursuing the ‘fabulously wealthy’ who have such accounts, it is anyone who holds an account.

The Revenue have two approaches which they can take: firstly a criminal prosecution which can lead to further allegations relating to money laundering, serious fraud, Proceeds of Crime Act offences, convictions and asset confiscation; or alternatively the civil procedure which is known as Code of Practice 9.

The Revenue really do mean business this time. To face either a criminal prosecution or a civil investigation is time consuming, frightening, and can be very expensive in the long-term. It is important that if either you or your client receives a letter from HMRC you immediately instruct both specialist criminal defence solicitors and specialist tax accountants who are used to dealing with the new full-on and aggressive stance being taken by the Revenue. This is turn can save time, stress, criminal proceedings, civil recovery or criminal asset recovery. It can save money, including penalties and interest.

Many of you will have accounts in the family which have been there for generations and have remained untouched for years. This will not exclude you from the Revenue’s investigations.

At Lewis Nedas Law we have a department which is dedicated to the defence of Inland Revenue investigations and prosecutions. We offer a City standard of service at reasonable and realistic pricing levels. We work with leading tax/criminal defence QCs and tax accountants at different pricing levels. If you require any advice please contact Jeffrey Lewis.

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