The taxman is preparing to launch enquiries into at least 100,000 taxpayers
who failed to disclose off-shore bank accounts to HM Revenue & Customs under
disclosure amnesty, which closed on 22 June.
The revelation of the new number dramatically increases the number of people
thought to be being targetted by the taxman. Until now, best estimates had been
that around 100,000 of the 400,000 account holders identified probably had tax
to pay. 60,000 made disclosures as part of the disclosure scheme.
Insiders at HMRC said officials were sending out 3,500 enquiry letters a week
to taxpayers who had not come forward during the amnesty period.
‘We are going to open enquiries into all those who did not come forward. Some
cases will be straight forward and others will be more complicated, but we are
going to pursue all those who we feel should have disclosed off-shore bank
accounts,’ an HMRC source said.
It has also vowed that it will, in time, examine the rest of the 400,000
offshore bank account details it accessed from banks following a request made to
the special commissioners.
All of the taxpayers targeted by HMRC will receive enquiry letters informing
them that the taxman believes they have not paid the necessary tax on off-shore
bank account earnings.
The source also poured cold water on suggestions that there have been raids
in connection with offshore bank accounts, a rumour that has been circulating in
the market. No raids are thought to have taken place.
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