The Autumn Statement has indicated that further measures are to be taken against tax avoidance by the large corporates. This may help with tax revenues. Another area of potential tax receipts is the intention of the HMRC to impose 200% penalties for non-disclosure of untaxed Swiss bank accounts by UK residents. This may push more people who have such accounts to apply the Lichtenstein UK tax agreement which imposes 10% penalties on non-disclosure of Swiss bank account. Of particular interest will be the non-domicile residents who have Swiss accounts and who after 7 years become taxable on a tax arising basis rather than a remittance basis.
An HMRC spokesperson confirmed that it was looking at changing the potential penalties for accounts in foreign countries "on the basis that to be in Category 1 (100% penalties) jurisdictions will need to have signed up to the new Common Reporting Standards", but refused to be drawn on the idea of a 200% penalty as "we are still consulting on this matter".Switzerland is currently in category 1, meaning the highest offshore penalty is 100%, so this would mark a major ramping up by HMRC of its efforts to get its hands on money in Swiss accounts.