HMRC Is Shite

HMRC Is Shite
Dedicated to the taxpayers of Britain, and the employees of Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC), who have to endure the monumental shambles that is HMRC.

Thursday, 15 October 2015

Offshore Tax Evasion - A Question of Proof!

The Chartered Institute of Taxation says that the proposed £5K statutory minimum threshold of tax evaded, wrt offshore evasion, is not high enough to protect people in the more complex cases.

The threshold, set by HMRC, is meant to ensure that people who make errors over relatively small sums of tax do not receive a prison sentence of up to six months.

However, CIOT want the threshold to be raised to £25,000.

John Cullinane of CIOT is quoted by Contractor UK:
We are pleased to note that there will be a statutory defence of reasonable care.

This will be vital in limiting the scope of the offence.
But it would be a stronger safeguard for the taxpayer if the burden of proof was on HMRC to prove that reasonable care had not been taken, rather than being on the taxpayer to prove they took reasonable care.

We are also concerned that this proposal could be counterproductive for HMRC because the fear of prosecution, with no need to prove intention on HMRC’s part, could discourage taxpayers from coming forward voluntarily.”
As ever with HMRC, the concept of innocent until proven guilty doesn't apply!

Tax does have to be taxing.

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  1. Perhaps a perusal of the Bar Council paper on the same topic would prove enlightening M'Lud, it might illustrate the concerns that illustrious members of the bar have about the legislation and its application?

    Of course, the drafters of the legislation will have taken 'reasonable care' to ensure that the burden of proof has not shifted merely because HMRC and/or CPS are incapable of putting a decent case together wrt offshore tax evasion?