Enablers of offshore tax evasion—civil sanctions
Produced in partnership with Nicholas Griffin QC and Tom Broomfield of QEB Hollis Whiteman
Enablers of offshore tax evasion—civil sanctions

The following Corporate Crime guidance note Produced in partnership with Nicholas Griffin QC and Tom Broomfield of QEB Hollis Whiteman provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Enablers of offshore tax evasion—civil sanctions
  • Introduction
  • When is a penalty payable?
  • Elements of events triggering the penalty
  • Definition of key terms
  • What are the sanctions?
  • When can details of an enabler be published?
  • What information may be published?
  • Commencement date
  • Practice points

Introduction

The government’s strategy for tackling offshore tax evasion was initially set out in HMRC’s 2014 No Safe Havens and has been supplemented by HMRC’s No Safe Havens 2019. The general aims of No Safe Havens 2014 were that:

  1. there are no jurisdictions where UK taxpayers feel safe to hide their income and assets from HMRC

  2. would-be offshore evaders realise that the balance of risk is against them

  3. offshore evaders voluntarily pay the tax due and remain compliant

  4. those who do not come forward are detected and face vigorously-enforced sanctions, and

  5. there will be no place for facilitators of offshore evasion

As to the first and second aims, the Common Reporting Standard (CRS) marked 'an unprecedented step change' in the ability to tackle offshore evasion. The CRS involved an automatic and much increased exchange of taxpayer information at the international level. All countries committed to the CRS were required to exchange data by the end of September 2018. As of May 2019, over 100 jurisdictions have committed to automatically exchange financial account information under the CRS. For more information about the CRS, see Practice Note: Automatic exchange of information—the Common Reporting Standard: a summary.

As to the third aim, HMRC’s initial approach involved giving people time to come forward to put their affairs in order before the widespread adoption of the