23rd November 2018
It is clear from recent news that authorities across the globe are increasing efforts to target tax evasion and regain lost funds. Be it huge multinational corporations, small businesses, or independent contractors, more and more innovative methods are being employed by authorities to ensure the law is followed. Furthermore, with the introduction of the Common Reporting Standard, the speed at which information can be shared between international tax bodies has made it easier than ever to zero in on tax evaders.
This latest development in tax collection has come from France, a destination we’ve previously covered on our blogs. With a booming economy and rich culture, the country is obviously an attractive place for contractors. In addition to this, with a wealth of new businesses opening up, some employers have complained that skilled workers are becoming increasingly hard to source.
Managing Tax Evasion in France
So, what nouveau method have the government devised to catch tax evasion? Well, according to Gerald Darmanin, Minister of Action and Public Accounts, the government will begin searching social media accounts next year in an effort to investigate the general public.
According to Darmanin, authorities will be searching to see ‘if you have numerous pictures of yourself with a luxury car while you don’t have the means to own one.’ He continued to say that ‘maybe your cousin or your girlfriend has lent it to you… or maybe not’
However, while this may be a new development in France, it’s already happening elsewhere in the world, including the United States and here in the UK. In fact, in America, the IRS had gone as far as reading individual’s private emails without a warrant. In the UK, HMRC recently stated that it will ‘observe, monitor, record and retain internet data’, including social media. Even as far ashore as Australia, the Tax Office has employed a team of ‘data doctors’ who are developing models of ‘non-compliers’ so that programs can automatically track social channels for them.
What does it mean for contractors
Clearly, tax evasion is becoming more heavily scrutinised and policed. With the introduction of the Common Reporting Standard and the ease with which countries can share information about tax records, it’s more relevant than ever to make sure you’re on the right side of the law, wherever you work.
When combining this with the ever-increasing complexity of international compliance laws, then the chances of breaking rules law unintentionally – and being punished for it – rise sharply. In fact, one could easily be labelled as a ‘tax-evader’ for a small bit of carelessness.
While you may not be posting pictures of flash cars, skiing holidays or Rolex watches on social media, the landscape for tax compliance is getting treacherous. Any discrepancies on your part could land you in serious trouble. Therefore, it’s wise to employ the services of an expert contractor compliance company to make your transition abroad as seamless and easy as possible, so you can focus on your area of expertise.
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