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UK to ramp up crackdown on tax avoidance: Osborne

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Britain will announce new laws to crack down on tax avoidance on Thursday, including making it a criminal offence for accountants and lawyers to help someone avoid paying tax, finance minister George Osborne said.

[LONDON] Britain will announce new laws to crack down on tax avoidance on Thursday, including making it a criminal offence for accountants and lawyers to help someone avoid paying tax, finance minister George Osborne said.

Osborne told BBC television that the changes would give more powers to prosecutors and courts to tackle avoidance. "If you're helping someone evade tax, you're going to face hefty fines as well," he told the BBC.

Osborne wants to raise billions of pounds by preventing tax avoidance as he tries to eliminate Britain's budget deficit.

REUTERS