What are the penalties for tax evasion (UK)?
Depending on the circumstances, tax evasion can result in heavy fines and the maximum penalty for tax evasion in the UK can even result in jail time. Punishment and the average tax evasion sentence can vary, so below are a few examples of penalties that can be incurred:
Income tax evasion penalties – summary conviction is 6 months in jail or a fine up to £5,000. The maximum penalty for income tax evasion in the UK is seven years in prison or an unlimited fine.
Evasion of VAT – in magistrates court the maximum sentence is 6 months in jail or a fine up to £20,000. Crown court cases can be a maximum of seven years in prison or an unlimited fine.
Cheating public revenue – due to the serious nature of the crime, the maximum sentence for cheating public revenue in the UK is life in prison or an unlimited fine.
Providing false documentation to HMRC – either magistrates’ court or as a summary conviction, HMRC tax evasion penalties can range from a fine of up to £20,000 or up to 6 months in prison.
Evasion of duty (smuggling) – for a summary conviction the maximum UK sentence is a fine up to £20,000. Crown court cases can be a maximum of seven years in prison or an unlimited fine.