HMRC tax probe to focus on building societies and overseas banks

Building societies and foreign banks with British operations are to be probed
by HMRevenue and Customs in a new crackdown on tax evasion.

Customers of 25 organisations look set to be investigated, according to

In 2007, five of the major British high-street banks were forced to disclose
customer information pertaining to offshore accounts, and resulted in the
generation of £400m of unpaid taxes.

A memo was circulated by HMRC to advisers this week saying its objective
‘will be to obtain information from a new tranche of financial institutions,
using the same legal powers as applied to the first five banks.

‘The intention of the new exercise will be to provide an opportunity for
account holders to inform us of their own accord, if they have unpaid tax or
duties and to settle their debts in a similar way to the original offshore
disclosure facility.’

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