Theresa May: We’re coming after tax advisers

Britain's new Prime Minister Theresa May speaks outside 10 Downing Street in central London on July 13, 2016 on the day she takes office following the formal resignation of David Cameron. Theresa May took office as Britain's second female prime minister on July 13 charged with guiding the UK out of the European Union after a deeply devisive referendum campaign ended with Britain voting to leave and David Cameron resigning. / AFP / JUSTIN TALLIS (Photo credit should read JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP/Getty Images)

Prime minister Theresa May has pledged to take action against financial advisers who help the rich avoid tax.

In a speech at the Conservative Party conference today, she singled out financial advisers along with accountants as targets in the government’s clampdown on tax avoidance.

May says: “If you’re a tax-dodger, we’re coming after you. If you’re an accountant, a financial adviser or a middleman who helps people to avoid what they owe to society, we’re coming after you too.

“An economy that works for everyone is one where everyone plays by the same rules. So whoever you are you – however rich or powerful – you have a duty to pay your tax. And we’re going to make sure you do.”

May added that while as a Conservative she favours a low tax economy, taxes are “the price we pay for living in a civilised society.”

The government has upped its rhetoric against aggressive tax avoidance in recent months.

In August, HM Revenue & Customs set out proposals to fine advisers who were found to be “enablers” of tax avoidance schemes.

HMRC is looking to levy penalties of either 100 per cent of the tax evaded, or £3,000, whichever is higher. In the consultation, which closes next week, HMRC also calls for measures subjecting each person found to be enabling tax avoidance to a penalty in their own right, regardless of any penalty handed to the individual using a tax avoidance scheme.