HMRC is serious about increasing the number of tax investigations into offshore bank accounts
Offshore accounts have long been used by a wide range of investors to maximise their capital. HMRC has shown a considerable interest in these accounts, because many of their holders remain resident in the UK – and therefore must pay tax on the interest they earn offshore. It has become increasingly obvious that many offshore investors have neglected to disclose this interest – and often the source of the underlying funds – and so HMRC believes that the government has lost millions if not billions of pounds in potential tax revenue.
What your tax investigation might cover
If you are contacted by HMRC about the interest on your offshore investments, you should seek immediate tax advice. Although much of the press coverage on this issue has centred on bank accounts, you must also declare the interest you have earned from:
- Offshore investment trusts
- Overseas property
- Any other income-generating offshore assets
What’s more, once you have declared your offshore accounts, HMRC may want to take an in-depth look into where your original capital came from. This is because many offshore accounts are used to protect income that may not have been declared to HMRC. At the end of a long tax investigation, you will have to pay back all the tax you owe, plus interest and a significant penalty
Recently, HMRC has won the right to force a number of big high street banks into disclosing details of the offshore accounts they operate for customers, potentially including the personal details of those customers, where the initial capital came from and how much interest has been earned on the accounts during a defined period. It may only be a matter of time before you get a letter from HMRC concerning your offshore accounts and investments.
It is also possible that HMRC will offer a tax amnesty to those who have offshore bank accounts
Why you need the right advice
Dealing with HMRC can be complex and when your offshore accounts are the subject of a tax investigation, you are likely to get the best results if you hire a professional tax investigation adviser to help you through the process. Not only do we know exactly how HMRC will approach this type of investigation, we can make sure that your disclosures are as accurate as possible and presented properly. If you voluntarily disclose the tax fraud or offshore bank account before a full tax investigation is launched, or as part of the rumoured tax amnesty, we may also be able to negotiate a reduced penalty. The longer you try to get away with keeping your offshore interests to yourself, the more likely it is that your finances will become the subject of a serious and in-depth tax investigation.
If you have received notice from HMRC of a tax investigation or Civil Investigation of Fraud proceedings, or wish to make a voluntary disclosure relating to tax evasion call us for help and advice today. All enquiries are strictly confidential. Phone 0800 734 3333 or e-mail email@example.com now.
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