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Strict liability criminal offences for offshore activities

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In October 2017, HMRC issued two statutory instruments bringing into effect the strict liability criminal offences relating to offshore income, gains and activities. The second of these limited the offences’ scope somewhat, importantly excluding income or gains which were reportable to HMRC under the common reporting standard. The new offences may increase the chances of HMRC successfully prosecuting individuals, as HMRC will no longer need to demonstrate that the person intended to defraud HMRC beyond reasonable doubt. These offences add to HMRC’s ability to tackle tax non-compliance relating to income and gains arising offshore.

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