OAPs race with death to amnesty finish line

HMRC’s olive branch on secret offshore accounts is leading wealthy elderly
individuals to fast-track efforts to clarify their tax affairs in case they die
before their disclosures are signed off.

Sue Holmes, head of tax investigations at Smith & Williamson, said
elderly people, some in their early 90s, had been looking to expedite the
process of disclosing undeclared income held overseas prior to the March 12
cut-off and paying the appropriate tax.

“We’re looking to move those cases forward before the inevitable happens,”
said Holmes. “The taxman has given themselves a bit longer compared to the last
amnesty, but the downside is there’s a longer time between putting in your
disclosures and getting your disclosures through.”

The Liechtenstein Disclosure Facility runs alongside the New Disclosure
Opportunity, and advisers believe there is a lot more interest in the LDF from
older people ­ because of its more favourable terms.

“There’s a lot of old money that has been inherited. Some of these involve
estates where the funds have been held overseas and haven’t been declared,” said
one leading tax adviser. “The capability to move things through Liechtenstein is
very appealing.”

However, advisers urged people to be proactive in making disclosures before
the 30 November notification deadline. “There appears to be a trickle rather
than a deluge,” said Mike Down, Baker Tilly’s national head of tax risk and
investigation management.

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