George Osborne has threatened wealthy people with jail if they are found to conceal their money in foreign bank accounts.
As part of the clampdown on tax avoidance the chancellor said, while on a visit to Washington, that under new plans being drawn up it would be easier to prosecute tax evaders.
Under the current regime tax inspectors have to prove the wealthy deliberately intended to avoid paying tax to force a prosecution.
Through the new system HM Revenue and Customs will only be required to prove the money held in these overseas accounts as taxable and undeclared.
‘The message is clear with this new criminal offence: if you are evading tax, there is no safe haven and we will find you,’ Osborne said.