Promotors of tax avoidance who fail to stop their activities once ordered to do so by HMRC could face criminal prosecution, Budget documents state.

Information released following Chancellor Jeremy Hunt's speech today (15 March) said the government plans to consult on the introduction of a new criminal offence for promoters of tax avoidance who fail to comply with a legal notice from HMRC to stop promoting a tax avoidance scheme. 

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It added that the government would also consult on "expediting" the disqualification of directors of companies involved in promoting tax avoidance including those who exercise control or influence over a company.

The government also plans to double the maximum sentences for tax fraud for the most "egregious" forms of tax fraud from seven to 14 years, according to the document.