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Tax evaders have 'nowhere to hide', says Chancellor

Chancellor, George Osborne has targeted businesses and individuals involved in tax avoidance, stating that they have “nowhere to hide” in the government’s efforts to recoup £5 billion a year in unpaid tax.

Within the Chancellor’s last Autumn Statement, Mr Osborne attempted to tackle the large American firms with UK hubs, such as Google, Facebook and Airbnb. The “Google tax” was initiated – a 25 per cent tax on multinational firms’ UK profits that were previously being pushed out of the country.

“We’ve stopped these blatant abuses that were allowed to flourish, and many others. But we promised the British people we would do more – and find a further £5 billion a year, and I can confirm we have done so,” said the Chancellor.

“We’re boosting HMRC’s capacity with three quarters of a billion pounds of investment to go after tax fraud, offshore trusts and the businesses of the hidden economy, tripling the number of wealthy evaders they pursue for prosecution – raising £7.2 billion in extra tax.

“We’re going to change the law to stop the use of losses which abuse our controlled foreign companies regime, and make sure investment fund managers pay the full capital gains tax rate on their carried interest.”

The Chancellor also confirmed he will be putting a stop to global firms artificially increasing stock value for tax benefits; whilst also ensuring that employment allowances are only used for employment.

Mr Osborne added that those involved in tax avoidance schemes will be named and shamed, insisting “these people should have nowhere to hide”.

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) investigators will be armed with £800 million of extra funding over the next five years in a bid to combat tax evasion and non-compliance of businesses and entrepreneurs across the UK.

Only £60 million of the new funds devoted by the Treasury will support serious and complex tax-crime investigations, but the Chancellor hopes to treble prosecutions in this area, taking the annual number of cases to 100 by the end of the Parliament, recouping £600 million in the process.

Image: The CBI

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