£900m for Fighting Tax Evasion
A spending of £900m over the next four years is envisaged by the coalition government. According to the Chief Secretary of the Treasury, Danny Alexander, this announcement is a part of high profile campaign to confront tax evasion and avoidance. Alexander was attending a Liberal Democrat conference where he said that the government planned to raise an extra £7bn every year beginning from 2014-15.
Alexander remarked that tax evasion and avoidance has always been termed as a bad practice even in the best of fiscal times and it is all the more unacceptable in the current circumstances. He said that tax evasion and avoidance is not a lifestyle choice as some people think it to be.
He went a step further and called such tax evaders to be ‘benefit cheats’ as they are depriving government and the needy from generating vital resources and in future the government would be more ruthless with the affluent who believe that paying tax is a kind of optional obligation towards the government.
HM Revenue & Customs would be funded five times more than the present so that they are able to augment criminal prosecution against tax evasion. Investigation against persons hiding their money off shore shall be carried out by dedicated investigators.
The plan envisages calling upon private debt collectors to recoup tax debt up to £1bn. Organized crimes and smugglers will not be spared. Investment in freight and detection technology will also be elevated to prevent smuggling of alcohol and tobacco and the likes. This segment is depriving the Treasury of considerable tax revenue.
Tax policy director at the Chartered Institute of Taxation, John Whiting said that the exchequer is robbed off the much needed money which it could utilize in funding public services. The CIOT has been arguing since long to take effective measures against people evading taxes.