Tax Avoidance

HMRC is already carrying out an intensive investigation of offshore companies, including in Panama, and has asked the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists to share the leaked data. They will act on it appropriately. In addition to this I welcome the Prime Minister's announcement that a new taskforce will be established to deal with the so-called Panama Papers.

The Prime Minister has committed to provide resources to ensure that the files are fully investigated, once shared with HMRC, including initial new funding of up to £10 million to support the taskforce's work.

The UK will publish its own register of company beneficial ownership from June 2016, making it clear who the real owners of companies are, the first major country to have such a list in place; the information it contains will be free for anyone to access.

This Government has brought in more than £2 billion from offshore tax evaders since 2010 and has repeatedly strengthened HMRC’s powers and resources with new criminal offences and higher penalties. I am pleased the Government has also made more than 40 changes to tax law to close Labour's loopholes, and introduced a new general anti-abuse rule to deter abusive tax avoidance.

The Conservatives have done more than any other Government to take action against corruption in all its forms, but clearly there is still further to go.

That is why we will introduce a new law later this year to hold companies who fail to stop their employees facilitating tax evasion criminally liable. We have already introduced changes throughout this Parliament to tackle tax avoidance and ensure everyone pays their fair share of tax.