HMRC paid informer £100,000

The taxman has admitted paying £100,000 to an informer for details of bank
accounts in tax haven Liechtenstein.

Sources at the tax authority said this morning they hoped to recoup £100m
from the data, which was ‘checked out’ before the payment was made.

‘If we do pay somebody for information we make sure it’s good quality before
we hand over taxpayers’ cash,’ the source said.

The UK tax authorities are now understood to be writing to individuals on the

The move follows a high-profile assault by the German government on
Liechtenstein tax evaders. The German finance ministry paid the same informant
several million euros for data on its citizens.

The individual was convicted of fraud in 2004 for stealing sensitive
information from his employer the LGT, which is controlled by the principality’s
royal family.

‘There will be many frightened people who thought that Liechtenstein was
secure,’ one City accountant told The Sunday Times.

Liechtenstein has come under fire after the
authorities called
for the alpine tax haven to drop its secrecy rules which
shield rich individuals salting away cash from the taxman’s gaze.

‘HMRC is using the powers given to it by parliament to protect the exchequer
from those who seek to hide behind secrecy laws to deprive the UK of tax
revenues,’ the department told

Further reading:

tax haven rules under fire

Related reading