A crackdown on offshore bank accounts has been extended to private banks, financial advisers and bui...
A crackdown on offshore bank accounts has been extended to private banks, financial advisers and building societies.
HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) called together representatives from 120 institutions last month to discuss how it can access details on offshore accounts, in order to identify unpaid taxes.
It follows an 'amnesty' earlier this year in which 60,000 people declared unpaid taxes after HMRC offered offshore bank account holders the chance to take advantage of reduced penalties.
Dave Hartnett, director general of HMRC, hosted last month's meeting in which representatives were asked to complete a questionnaire on information they hold on offshore bank accounts, and what they would be willing to hand over. Hartnett said: "HMRC is determined to create a level playing field for all taxpayers, the purpose of the meeting was to detail current progress and outline the next steps in tackling the misuse of offshore accounts." HMRC will decide on what action it will take once the results have been assessed.
Nigel Gautfrey, director of Duncan Lawrie Private Bankers, said it would be impractical for HMRC to issue section 28A orders against all the institutions, which would force them to hand over bank account details. He said: "The Revenue appears to think private banks are the most likely source of unpaid taxes but being in the industry I am not so sure they are right."
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