Andrew Watters, director of London based law firm Thomas Eggar, said it is likely the UK government will look to increase the probability of criminal action on cases where there has been deliberate underpayment of tax.
Watters said: “I predict discussions about greater penalties on 'tax dodgers' by increasing the financial quantum on civil enquiries and increasing the probability of criminal action where there is any suggestion that tax underpayment is deliberate.
“The chancellor will no doubt be telling us that the situation is desperate but not hopeless. Tax advisers may be delivering a similar message to their clients.”
Similarly, Baker Tilly’s Lakshmi Narain was quoted by City A.M. this morning as predicting the government will look to do more to stop wealthy individuals and companies from finding ways around the tax system. Often cases are taken to court and stopped but too late to recover lost taxes.
Narain said: “We anticipate that for some schemes the legislation will extend the enquiry window for one year (possibly retrospectively). So, for example, if HMRC find out about a scheme and in due course decide it has been used extensively and they do not think it works, they may be given power to open those cases.”