News story: HMRC launch criminal investigation into global financial institution

HM Revenue and Customs is getting increasingly tougher on offshore tax evasion, collecting more than £2.7 billion since 2010. Yesterday, in partnership with authorities in the Netherlands, Australia, Germany and France, HMRC launched a criminal investigation into suspected tax evasion and money laundering by a global financial institution.

Here is our full statement:

Yesterday HMRC, working with our international partners, launched a criminal investigation into suspected tax evasion and money laundering by a global financial institution and certain of its employees. The first phase of the investigation, which will see further, targeted, activity over the coming weeks, is focused on senior employees from within the institution, along with a number of its customers.

The international reach of this investigation sends a clear message that there is no hiding place for those seeking to evade tax. Promoters and facilitators of tax evasion schemes, and their customers, need to wake up to reality and accept that attempting to hide wealth overseas, or within institutions, doesn’t work and doesn’t place them out of our reach. Alongside this new investigation we are currently investigating more than 1,100 cases of offshore evasion around the world, and have brought in more than £2.7 billion from offshore tax evaders since 2010.

As this an ongoing investigation HMRC are unable to provide any further detail at this time.

Further background

The government has introduced tough new powers, increased penalties, and game-changing measures to help us tackle offshore tax evasion, and as recently as the summer Budget 2015, gave HMRC an additional £800 million to invest in compliance and tax evasion work. Additionally, the Government has also been pivotal in increasing global financial transparency among more than 100 countries, including British Overseas Territories and Crown Dependencies, by automatically sharing offshore account data. This additional data will help identify and pursue the tiny minority of tax evaders still hiding their money offshore.

The UK is also introducing a new corporate criminal offence for corporations that fail to prevent the facilitation of tax evasion. This new power, coming in this year, will ensure that those who fail to show due diligence over the services they provide could face prosecution.

Last year HMRC collected and protected a record-breaking £26 billion in compliance yield – money that would otherwise have gone unpaid. The offshore specialists in HMRC’s Customer Compliance Fraud Investigation Service are currently investigating more than 1,100 cases of offshore evasion around the world, with more than 100 individuals subject to current criminal investigation.

Source: HMRC

Consultation: Draft legislation: the Corporate Interest Restriction (Financial Statements: Group Mismatches) Regulations 2017

The new Corporate Interest Restriction (CIR) rules were introduced in Schedule 10 of Finance Bill 2017 which was published on 20 March 2017. They limit the tax relief that large multinational businesses can claim for interest and other financing expenses and take effect from 1 April 2017.

A consultation on how the CIR rules should operate was opened in May 2016 and the government’s response to this was published in December 2016.

Regulations are needed to ensure the interaction of the rules with accounting standards does not give an unwarranted restriction on commencement of the CIR. In particular, they deal with timing differences between the group and entity accounts when applying the fixed ratio debt cap and also for the group ratio method for highly leveraged groups.

HM Revenue and Customs has published draft regulations, together with a draft explanatory memorandum, for a period of consultation which will close on 26 May 2017.

Any comments on these drafts should be made to Oli Jones by Telephone: 03000 541970 or by email: oli.jones@hmrc.gsi.gov.uk.

Source: HMRC

A beginner’s guide to buying and selling a business

Buying or selling a business is a serious undertaking. Whether you’re getting a well-earned payday for years of business building or fulfilling a long-held dream of entrepreneurship, it’s not something you should go into lightly. Research is the watchword and you should take advice where you can find it. Hopefully this article, which sets out

The post A beginner’s guide to buying and selling a business appeared first on Small Business.

Source: SmallBizUK

Does your business value you as an individual? Half of Brits remain unhappy at work

New research conducted by employee services provider Personal Group reveals that almost half of UK workers are unhappy at their job, while 30 per cent of front-line employees never feel enthusiastic about work. The research uncovers some concerning statistics, including that 35 per cent of workers would be happier with greater recognition in the workplace. However, the

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Source: SmallBizUK

Guidance: Corporate Interest Restriction draft guidance

This draft guidance is being published so that stakeholders can comment on it and to assist understanding of the application of the Corporate Interest Restriction legislation in Schedule 10 of Finance Bill 2017, which takes effect from 1 April 2017. The draft guidance will be updated as necessary in the light of comments received.

This is an initial tranche of guidance, focusing on the core rules and other aspects where guidance has been specifically requested. Further draft guidance will be issued by 31 May 2017.

Comments about this draft guidance should be sent to the Corporate Interest Restriction team by email to interest-restriction.mailbox@hmrc.gsi.gov.uk. Comments can sent in batches, but all comments should be submitted by 31 July 2017.

Source: HMRC

London businesses in a weak position to handle business rates hike

With businesses in the capital set to face a sharp rise in business rates from the 1st April, new research reveals that thousands of London companies are ill prepared for the imminent increase to their tax burden, with nearly 70,000 businesses already experiencing ‘significant’ financial distress even before the changes take effect. London businesses are

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Source: SmallBizUK