Plans to simplify laws and make it a criminal offence for Britons to hold undeclared income overseas unveiled by Treasury
Currently, HM Revenue & Customs can only secure a conviction if it can prove that an individual was trying to hide money from the authorities.
But George Osborne will shift the “burden of proof”, meaning that accused individuals under investigation must demonstrate that this was not the case.
Convicted criminals will pay a hefty fine or face jail under the plans, which the Government hopes to bring into force next year.
The Chancellor described the proposed legislation as a “significant new weapon” in the Government’s fight against tax avoidance and evasion.
“It is totally unacceptable for people not to pay the tax that is due, and the message will be clear now with this new criminal offence that if you’re evading tax offshore, there is no safe haven and we will find you,” he said.
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