HMRC has not fined a single enabler of offshore tax evasion in five years, data released in response to a Freedom of Information (FOI) request has revealed.

This is despite HMRC having landmark powers, which were introduced in 2017, to impose hefty fines.

The data, which was released to the Bureau of Investigative Journalism (TBIJ), suggests that HMRC is failing to target the creators of offshore tax evasion schemes and instead pursues clients of such schemes.

According to the FOI request, HMRC has not fined a single partnership or company for enabling tax evasion since the change in the law in 2017.

Michelle Sloane, a tax disputes partner at law firm RPC, said:

'Enablers were and still are a big focus for HMRC. But these figures show their rhetoric on tackling enablers … is clearly not being followed through with action.'

A spokesperson for HMRC said:

'We have a strong track record in tackling offshore non-compliance. Since the launch of our No Safe Havens strategy in 2019, we have secured almost £700 million from offshore initiatives.'

Internet link: TBIJe