Speaking of cracking down, the UK seems to have followed suit and has announced tougher fines as part of a crackdown on tax evasion. The move was actually announced back in 2015, but it is now in force as of 1 January 2017.
Fines have been increased to 100% of the tax evasion amount or £3000, whichever is higher. If you were going to try to evade tax, you would think it would be for a much higher sum than £3000! In addition to the fines, the perpetrators will be publicly named and shamed – something the press ensures happens in many instances anyway.
This new tough regime is aimed at tackling evasion and aggressive avoidance, something that we completely agree is wrong in all cases. If the move does reduce the amount of unpaid tax it will obviously have a positive effect on the economy and will make for a much fairer tax environment for those that pay up and on time.
There have been many plans to crack down on such activity in the past, most of which seemed half-hearted and a little lacklustre. The term ‘evade’ obviously means that those doing the evading will not leave a trail of breadcrumbs for the authorities to easily find their candy house full of bank notes. But we have seen in previous reports, documentaries and announcements that too many people are being caught red-handed but the prosecution and follow-through has just not been there.
Good luck to those in charge of this new venture, it will certainly be interesting to see if it has a noticeable effect. We will most certainly be watching.