Risky waters

Jon Preshaw looks at the new legislation which imposes civil penalties on those who ‘enable’ offshore non-compliance

Tax advisers are facing a wide range of new rules intended to address tax non-compliance by tackling the activities of advisers who HMRC believe are assisting their clients to evade tax. This focus on ‘enablers’ forms an important part of HMRC’s strategy to combat tax evasion. Although HMRC acknowledge that the number of such advisers is small, and it is therefore tempting for the vast majority of advisers to simply disregard these rules as irrelevant to their practices, the relevant provisions are extremely broadly drawn and could have a significant impact on a wide range of professional advisers and financial service providers. With that in mind, it is important that advisers carefully consider the implications of the new rules.