Wednesday, August 23, 2017

HMRC Enlists Financial and Other Professionals to Warn UK Citizen Clients About Offshore Accounts (8/23/17)

Camilla Hodgson, 'Life-changing consequences:' HMRC warns on risks of hiding wealth offshore in new crackdown (Business Insider Date not indicates but I believe today or yesterday), here.

The UK tax collector is sending letters warning of the "potentially life-changing consequences" of failing to disclose offshore-held wealth, as part of a drive to prevent people skirting tax rules. 
Millions of UK taxpayers are being sent the warning via their financial institutions and advisers. 
These institutions have been given until the end of August to explain to all clients the risks of failing to declare offshore-held money and assets. 
* * * * 
Under new transparency rules, however, information sharing between more than 100 countries will allow HMRC to crack down on individuals who are trying to evade tax they should be paying, the warning said: "The world is becoming more transparent." 
Overseas institutions such as banks and insurers, it goes on, have already begun supplying such data to help HMRC "identify the minority who are not paying what they owe." 
It urges people to "come to us before we come to you," and encourages reporting any undeclared taxable assets via a "worldwide disclosure facility." Although this will result in penalty charges of up to 200% of what is unpaid, penalties are due to rise further from September 2018. 
Since it would entail a huge amount of work for financial institutions to check which of their customers may have offshore-held assets, the warning is being sent out to most customers. However, it includes an assurance that those whose tax affairs are up to date and complete need not take any action.

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