Jessica Parker comments on the Paradise Papers on BBC News and The Credit Protection Association
In the controversy over the Paradise Papers, questions have been raised about the role, responsibilities and liability of professionals in the creation and facilitation of tax avoidance schemes.
There is, or certainly should be, a strict ethical dividing line between tax avoidance and tax evasion.
If a client asks a solicitor for advice which involves breaking the law – which amounts to evasion – a solicitor must not give that advice or arrange a transaction which helps the client evade tax.
New criminal offences are being rolled out by HMRC which will criminalise professionals involved in tax evasion. They include the somewhat convoluted “failure to prevent the facilitation of tax evasion”, which came into force in September.
These offences are not retrospective.
“However, that is not to say they won’t make a difference,” says Jessica Parker, a partner at the solicitors Corker Binning. “They reflect the rising tide of moral opprobrium directed at the offshore tax industry.
“Advisors will now tread extremely carefully so as to avoid falling onto the wrong side of the notoriously blurred line between legitimate tax avoidance and illegitimate tax evasion.”
The following are the terms and conditions of use of this website. By viewing the content of the site you agree to be bound by them.
The information available on the site might from time to time be incomplete, out of date or inaccurate. Corker Binning reserves the right at any time and without prior notice to make changes and corrections to the material on the site or to make parts of it or all of it unavailable at any time without notice. Corker Binning disclaims all liability in respect of all information and its provision, and shall not be liable for any loss or damages suffered as a result of any use of the site.
This website may contain links to third party sites. Any such links are provided solely for your convenience and do not indicate, expressly or impliedly, any endorsement by Corker Binning of the site or the products and services provided at those sites. You access those sites and use the products and services entirely at your own risk.Unless specified to the contrary, the contents and layout of this website and these pages are protected by copyright. The authors of the material on the website assert their moral rights. The Corker Binning logo and contents of this website are copyrighted materials of Corker Binning. All rights are reserved. They may not be used, transmitted or reproduced without prior written permission of Corker Binning.
These conditions of use are governed by English law and any dispute connected with the site is subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of the English courts. Corker Binning may change these conditions of use from time to time.