It has been announced today that HMRC is writing to 6,000 people and organisations with Swiss bank accounts giving them a final chance to disclose any tax owed or face investigation.
The letters tell people there is a window of opportunity to come forward and disclose tax liabilities to HMRC.
It is reported that HMRC is sending the letters to UK residents, organisations or trusts where it believes that they have a bank accounts with HSBC in Geneva.
Permanent Secretary for Tax Dave Hartnett is quoted as saying “This is not an amnesty. There are no special rates of penalty or interest for those who come forward voluntarily. This is an opportunity for those who have made errors in past returns to correct them.The net is closing on offshore evaders.”
HMRC’s recently established offshore coordination unit will lead the work investigating information which HMRC have received relating to the HSBC in Switzerland.
It is reported that HMRC has already launched criminal or serious fraud investigations into more than 500 account holders and that they intend to pursue any individual or entity to whom they have written..
If recipients choose to ignore it, they are warned they face investigation and penalties of up to 200 per cent of the tax due.
This announcement follows the signing of a tax agreement between Switzerland and the UK earlier this month and further details of this agreement will follow soon.
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For most people, the simple thought of having to deal with an Inland Revenue Investigation is so terrifying that they avoid the issue altogether and often find themselves in even greater tax difficulties. There is no need to let problems large or small with the HMRC escalate to the point where your quality of life and happiness suffer.
At Gilbert Tax, we have over eighty years experience in finding closure for clients dealing with Inland Revenue investigation and significant experience in dealing with the offshore tax evasion issues. We are also skilled in negotiating with HMRC, relative to tax evasion, so as to avoid or limit financial penalties for the individuals or businesses who find themselves subject to a tax investigation.
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