Comment: Tax evasion crackdown shouldn’t panic advisers

The rhetoric from the corridors of power at HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) appears to have been getting louder in recent times.  

First came a period when the normal grey subject matter of tax and the various schemes available received more column inches than some of those who were advised to use them. Then came the revelations of the HSBC Swiss customer files and the decision by HMRC not to dig deeper, closely followed by the disclosure of the Panama Papers.

Something was needed to steady the ship and re-establish public confidence in a system that seemed to many to be imposing one rule for the rich and one rule for the poor. In these times of austerity, when both budgets and personnel were being reduced, change seems to have been achieved by redrawing the battle lines and increasing the scope of liability, with talk of more prosecutions and the introduction of

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