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Offshore tax planning disclosure deadline is this Friday

A couple of days ago we received an email from HM Revenue & Customs reminding us that the deadline for disclosing details of offshore investments is fast approaching. In their email, they mentioned that they have already approached over 300 UK banks to request them to release known details of any of their customers with offshore assets.

Always a sore point for undeclared investments, HMRC has approached over 300 UK banks to request them to disclose details of customers they know to have offshore assets. You may remember recently that the EU also undertook a similar exercise in determining the names and details of people with assets in unnamed accounts (in Liechtenstein and Switzerland predominantly). This created quite a stir as it meant that EU governments could start to match up who was making fraudulent tax declarations.

HMRC are also undertaking a similar exercise and are hoping that simply the knowledge of them having approached banks will ensure that everyone declares all of their offshore investments. Despite their questioning of the banks, the onus remains with you to make the declaration.

I still think their most powerful discouragement is definitely the large penalties and potential prosecution if they find you’ve either lied on your return or not made a return in the first place.

If you have offshore assets and/or investments, you will ideally have notified HMRC already that you are considering making the disclosure. If not, you should seek to do so immediately. The good news is that HMRC are still accepting online disclosures until this Friday (12th March).

Having dealt with many customers’ offshore disclosures already, St Matthew can answer any queries you have in relation to declaring offshore investments. Even if it’s just a simple “should I file or not?” get in contact now to make sure you avoid any penalties by HMRC.


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