Nowhere to hide as taxman steps up tax probe

Those with offshore bank accounts will be under increasing scrutiny by tax
authorities worldwide as they step up their investigations of offshore accounts
to clamp down on perceived tax evasion,

‘The Treasury has been progressively tightening the net on offshore accounts
for some time and it is now getting to a point that those with money held
offshore, whether acting rightly or wrongly, are likely to feel some heat from
HMRC in the near future,’ Gary Ashford, a Grant Thornton tax investigations
director, says.

‘HMRC is using any means possible to get hold of information on offshore
accounts. Whether it be paying for information, pressuring private banks to hand
over details or teaming up with other tax authorities and information sharing,
HMRC is determined to gain access to these accounts. It is looking increasingly
likely that HMRC will consider introducing another facility for those holding
untaxed offshore assets, particularly in offshore bank accounts, to disclose
these to HMRC and pay any tax owed.’

Ashford warns HMRC sees anything involving offshore arrangements as
increasing your risk score. However, those who are aware of this can ensure any
offshore arrangements are fully tax compliant. ‘If problems are identified in
the robustness of any arrangements they should be disclosed to HMRC at the
earliest opportunity as HMRC has stated it will look to prosecute cases that
have not been disclosed,’ he said.

Further reading:

Miskin named in UK tax haven probe

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