The UK is the first country to bring in this type of register and so there are no other models to draw on and the government is intending to “…proceed cautiously , striking the right balance between improving transparency and minimising burdens on legitimate commercial activity”.
The Government are concerned that bringing external investors into a family business can dilute the founders down below a 5% stake in a company. The 5% threshold may therefore hold back the seeking of external funds and therefore hold back growth in a business.
These rates were always intended to rise over time but with so many other regulatory matters to keep up to date with, it seems that this is the appropriate time for a reminder of the imminent increases.
There is a legal “Requirement to Correct” by September 2018, and anyone who does not do so will face penalties for “Failure to Correct” of between 100% and 200% of the tax at stake. In the worst cases there are additional penalties of 10% of the value of the offshore asset and naming and shaming on HMRC’s website.