Tax evasion is a crime which deprives the Government of much needed funds to run
our public services and reduce the deficit, placing a greater burden on the vast
majority of people who pay their fair share of tax. Tackling tax evasion is an important
part of this Government’s long-term economic plan and it will take tough action against
evaders and those who help others to evade tax.
For too long it has been too easy for people to hide their money overseas to evade
tax. We have changed that. Over the last two years the UK has led the drive in
Europe, in the G20 and through its G8 Presidency to revolutionise international tax
transparency. We now have agreement, reached with over 90 countries and
jurisdictions, to exchange information on financial accounts automatically every year.
Starting in 2016, HMRC will receive a wide range of information on offshore accounts
held by UK tax residents. This will be an unprecedented step change in HMRC’s
ability to tackle offshore tax evasion, as for the first time it will reveal the details of
billions of pounds worth of assets held offshore