A new HMRC campaign will target taxpayers with money hidden in offshore accounts, Chancellor George Osborne has announced.

The campaign runs in line with a recent G20 agreement to take global action against tax avoidance and evasion.

Chancellor Osborne said:

“By taking global action to reform the system alongside a tough approach to enforcing the law at home, we will close the net on those who think they do not have to play by the rules.”

42 countries and jurisdictions have joined this initiative which will lead to the rapid implementation of tax information sharing agreements.

Jennie Granger, HMRC’s Director General for Enforcement and Compliance, said:

“Most people with offshore assets do the right thing and tell us about them, and therefore have nothing to worry about. But for the minority who don’t, the net is closing around them.

“We are getting more and more information that helps us to target offshore tax cheats more effectively than ever before. If you have assets offshore you need to get in touch with us urgently, because we will catch up with you.”

Those who are caught will be made to pay their outstanding tax balance, as well as a fine of 200% of the tax they owe. They will also face possible criminal prosecution and a prison sentence.