The Cayman Islands, once seen as one of the most secretive tax havens, is considering publishing the names of companies and funds domiciled there, along with the names of the people who control them: according to CCH online.
The tiny Caribbean islands are a British Overseas Territory, and have faced a barrage of criticism worldwide for allegedly assisting with global tax avoidance and tax evasion. It seems keen to shed this reputation, by bringing in major changes and revealing the names of companies and those who control them. This may be partly to pre-empt the changes currently being planned by the UK in respect of all of its Crown Dependencies and Overseas Territories – to report all details of bank accounts held by UK citizens. Apparently HMRC is going to copy America’s Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) for all of its Crown Dependencies and Overseas Territories; such as the well-known tax havens of Jersey, Bermuda, Gibraltar, the British Virgin Islands, and the Cayman Islands.
In this latest development The Cayman Islands’ financial authority CIMA, has sent proposals to Cayman-based hedge funds, setting out plans to create a publically available database of funds domiciled on the island. The consultation process will close in mid-March. No doubt as soon as the database is published it will be scrutinised very carefully by HMRC’s Offshore Coordination Unit Risk and Intelligence service.
What does this mean for me?
If you have a secret offshore bank account, company, or trust, then at some point in the next few years it is extremely likely that you will be subject to a tax investigation. If you have undeclared income (including investment income) linked to the offshore structure then you could face a very intrusive tax investigation; extremely high tax-geared penalties; and even prosecution, confiscation orders and prison. HMRC is rapidly closing the net on offshore tax evasion. Now is the time for people to put their house in order while they still have the opportunity. HMRC are currently offering generous terms under their various tax amnesties. This can include a guarantee of non-prosecution and very low penalties.
How can Lynam Tax disclosure experts help me?
Lynam Tax Disclosure Experts are currently assisting scores of clients with offshore bank accounts. We can help you obtain the best possible outcome with HMRC, including a guarantee of non-prosecution and very low penalties.
*To discuss your affairs in complete confidence please call:
Paul Lynam on: 0845 643 9997 or
Andrew Nutbrown on: 07718 778710