HMRC's double taxation requests fall 40%

by Calum Fuller

More from this author

07 Jan 2013

  • Comments
HM Revenue and Customs

THE NUMBER of double taxation requests made by HM Revenue & Customs dropped around 40% in 2011/12.

The Revenue made 640 requests for information under double taxation agreements with other countries in the year to 31 March 2012, compared with 857 the year before, according to information collected by law firm Pinsent Masons.

However, HMRC cast its net further in 2012, signing agreements with Barbados, Liberia, Brazil and Grenada, among others.

The countries most frequently approached for information in 2011 were: Australia, with 96 requests; Spain, with 49 requests; and Ireland, with 38 requests.

Pinsent Masons partner Phil Berwick said the figures may suggest the Revenue's efforts against evasion and avoidance have been effective, but did not rule out the detrimental effect of staffing cuts.

He said: "HMRC has begun investigations into thousands of individuals with overseas assets in the last few years, and will probably have picked off most of the low-hanging fruit.

"It may be the case that HMRC's heavy workload is catching up with it," he added.

"The recent National Audit Office report on HMRC's compliance performance revealed that HMRC had 41,000 open avoidance investigations. HMRC has pushed very hard on compliance recently and may be hitting capacity".

According to Berwick, the decline in requests could be a sign that more tax dodgers are coming forward.

He said: "HMRC will come down very heavily on those it suspects are hiding assets. It is far better to get on the front foot and tell HMRC about an undisclosed offshore asset or other problem before HMRC finds out and begins an investigation.

"Taking a pro-active approach and using facilities such as the Liechtenstein Disclosure Facility to declare any offshore assets could help limit the risk of a criminal prosecution."

Visitor comments

blog comments powered by Disqus

Add your comment

We won't publish your address

By submitting a comment you agree to abide by our Terms & Conditions

Your comment will be moderated before publication

  • Send

Charterhouse Accountants

Finance Officer

Charterhouse Accountants, Beaconsfield, Permanent, Full Time, £ Competitive




Get the latest financial news sent directly to your inbox

  • Best Practice
  • Business
  • Daily Newsletter
  • Essentials


Search for jobs
Click to search our database of all the latest accountancy roles

Create a profile
Click to set up your profile and let the best recruiters find you

Jobs by email
Sign up to receive regular updates with the latest roles suitable for you



Why budgeting fails: One management system is not enough

If budgeting is to have any value at all, it needs a radical overhaul. In today's dynamic marketplace, budgeting can no longer serve as a company's only management system; it must integrate with and support dedicated strategy management systems, process improvement systems, and the like. In this paper, Professor Peter Horvath and Dr Ralf Sauter present what's wrong with the current approach to budgeting and how to fix it.


iXBRL: Taking stock. Looking forward

In this white paper CCH provide checklists to help accountants and finance professionals both in practice and in business examine these issues and make plans. Also includes a case study of a large commercial organisation working through the first year of mandatory iXBRL filing.