Offshore clampdown to hit 15,000

Offshore clampdown to hit 15,000

Special commissioners give the go-ahead for HMRC to seek extra data from bank in order to hit an expected 15,000 people with tax bills

HM Revenue & Customs is expected to target 15,000 people with tax bills
they have evaded after a critical judgement by special commissioners.

HMRC was given the go-ahead by special commissioners last week to gain extra
data from a bank, unnamed in the proceedings, about bank accounts held offshore.

The taxman said it expected to recover £347m extra in tax as a result of the
investigations, which are concerned with credit cards associated with offshore
accounts.

The projected number of cases and return were based on a sample of the data.

HMRC cannot normally get access to confidential banking information, but it
is able to serve a formal notice requesting the information to which a special
commissioner must give consent.

The taxman has become increasingly active on the offshore fraud front
recently with the Offshore Fraud Project Group eyeing extra revenues.

Tom Rowbotham, Deloitte’s director of tax risk and resolution services, said
he anticipated that HMRC would push these issues further: ‘I think there will be
an increase in these kinds of cases. HMRC is looking at information powers to
enable it to identify cases where there may be tax at risk. I would expect it to
identify more situations like this.’

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