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Osborne tax crackdown set to face MP scrutiny

Treasury select committee chair And-rew Tyrie is set to scrutinise Chancellor George Osborne’s plans to get tough on tax avoidance, which include a new criminal standard to crack down on tax hidden offshore.

To prosecute under current rules, HM Revenue & Customs has to prove a person holding income offshore intended to evade paying tax. Under the proposals, officials would only have to show money was taxable and undeclared.

The Government is to issue a consultation outlining the proposals.

In the Budget, the Government announced extended powers for HMRC to issue payment notices to anyone who has used an avoidance scheme into which it has an open
inquiry. The Government also wants to strengthen HMRC’s powers to
recover tax directly from debtors’ bank accounts.

TSC chair Andrew Tyrie told the Financial Times MPs would take “further evidence on the extension of HMRC’s powers”, adding: “We must be vigilant to ensure we do not lose the
essential balance between the powers that HMRC needs and protecting individuals. Parliament needs to pay attention when these powers are extended.”

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