Find out what's happening to Euro Pacific Bank and what to do if you are a customer. There's lots of useful information on this page covering:
Euro Pacific Bank has been deregulated following an investigation by HMRC and other international tax authorities into the bank’s facilitation of tax evasion and money laundering.
HMRC believes thousands of people in the UK have used the bank and HMRC has started processing intelligence if holds to identify the banks customers and other associated businesses so that HMRC can commence tax investigations.
HMRC describe this as a “landmark moment in HMRC’s response to offshore tax evasion”.
HMRC has a vast amount of data about Euro Pacific and as it is processed investigations are opened most of these investigations are Civil but some will be criminal investigations.
We believe HMRC will use this information in a number of ways.
Some people identified as using Euro Pacific Bank will receive a “Nudge” letter from HMRC. This will mention the potential of overseas income not been declared in the UK and ask the individual to consider their tax position. Often HMRC will include a number of options and ask that the individual sign and date a declaration.
HMRC may use their normal enquiry powers to open tax enquiries into the customers of Euro Pacific Bank. It is unlikely that at the initial enquiry stage that HMRC will mention that they have this information but if and enquiry letter is received and an individual or company has been involved with the bank there is a high change of a link.
It is believed that some of the enquiries will be accompanied by HMRC Code of Practice 8 leaflet. HMRC’s Fraud Investigation Service use Code of Practice 8 where they believe an individual has instigated tax planning that HMRC does not believe works or where HMRC have reason to believe not all tax has been paid but this may not have been done deliberately.
Where HMRC as part of their enquiry form the opinion that there is tax due which is the result of deliberate behaviour then it is normal practice for HMRC to withdraw Code of Practice 8 and deal with matters by way of the Contractual Disclosure Facility.
It is highly likely that HMRC will write to the majority of the individuals offering them the opportunity to participate in the Contractual Disclosure Facility under HMRC Code Of Practice 9.
In some cases HMRC may choose to investigate the individual with a view to a criminal prosecution.
We believe HMRC have decided to put significant resources into using the information from the Euro Pacific Bank to investigate UK businesses or individuals who have used the bank.
It is believed that HMRC have bank statements for the individual or any account the individual is a signatory to. This is not all statements but snap shots of between 3 and 6 months for a number of years.
HMRC are reviewing this and comparing it to the declared income of the individual and any business they are involved with and any other information they hold such as property ownership to see if the information they have collates with the individuals declared income and wealth.
If you have fully declared your income and your use of the bank is not linked to avoidance or evasion of tax, then HMRC may enquire into your tax return. In this instance it is important to put together sufficient information to show that there are no errors.
If you have been contacted by HMRC and have not declared all of your income and/or your use of the bank is linked to tax avoidance or tax evasion then action is required to address the process. How matters are dealt with initially can have an effect on many aspects of the enquiry.
If HMRC have not been in contact but you know that there is an issue with regards to the tax affairs of you or your business, it is better to make a voluntary disclosure to HMRC. This makes significant difference to things like penalties and how HMRC perceive matters.
There are several ways that a voluntary disclosure can be made but most will either be using HMRC disclosure facilities whether this be the Worldwide Disclosure Facility or asking for HMRC to accept you into the Contractual Disclosure Facility.
Gilbert Tax has extensive experience in dealing with HMRC with offshore and onshore matters and helping clients get through the stress of an HMRC enquiry for both people who have made errors and those HMRC accuse of making errors where none have been made.
Gilbert Tax have an expert team ready to assist you with any problems that arise with HMRC, if you are subject to criminal prosecution then we can assist with that also. To speak to someone about this at Gilbert Tax contact Craig Tully or Scott Gilbert.
All communications are confidential and no charge is made for the initial discussion.
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Our firm of tax advisors specialise in resolving people's problems with HMRC. We have extensive expertise in dealing with all forms of tax investigations and tax disputes as well as with taking matters to the Tax Tribunal where agreement cannot be reached.
We deal both directly with the individual who is under enquiry and also work with many firms of accountants supporting them in dealing with HMRC disputes and advising them on how to handle HRMC to get the best result.
The fact is that proper management of HMRC is the best way of reducing the tax, interest and penalty as well as the time taken in resolving any tax dispute.
Our expert team are none judgemental and rigorously defend your position within the scope and parameter of the law. We take control and manage the process to minimise the interruptions that any form of tax investigation causes to an individual's life and business."