New proposals to tackle offshore tax evasion




A pile of banknotes and £1 coins


More than £1.5bn has been recovered from offshore tax evaders in two years, officials say.

People who hide their money overseas to avoid paying tax face bigger fines and could be jailed more easily under government plans to fight tax evasion.
To prosecute at present, tax officials must prove a person holding income offshore has intended to evade tax.
But under a new criminal standard officials would only have to show money was taxable and undeclared.
Chancellor George Osborne said the changes would mean there was "no safe haven" for those evading tax.
But Labour's shadow exchequer secretary to the Treasury said the government was "failing to tackle tax avoidance and evasion".
A consultation will be held to let the public have their say on the plans.
Whistleblowers' bonus
In recent months, the UK has joined other G20 countries in focussing on moves to share information about tax evasion.
Now Mr Osborne says the government will consult on a new criminal standard, harsher fines and increased jail sentences.
At present, offshore tax evaders can be fined twice the amount they owe, and can face criminal prosecution and a possible prison sentence.
The government will look at options to increase these penalties, as well as the possibility of financial rewards for whistleblowers who "help uncover" untaxed offshore assets.