In the run-up to Christmas both HMRC and the Swiss banks are writing to UK holders of Swiss bank accounts to warn them that failure to disclose full details of the income could have severe consequences.
With the UK/Swiss Tax Agreement coming into force on 1 January 2013 those UK taxpayers with Swiss bank accounts who do not notify the Swiss bank that they can disclose to HMRC in the UK will face a large deduction from the monies held offshore as well as a penal rate of tax going forward. HMRC are writing to people warning them that they could face penalties of up to 150% of the tax owed if they do not fully disclose.
Anyone who opts out of the penal deduction in Switzerland will have to make a disclosure to the tax authorities in the UK or face prosecution and/or high penalties. Many taxpayers are now rushing to take advantage of the Liechtenstein Disclosure Facility. Some taxpayers have authorised the Swiss bank deduct the money and not disclose. However, having had second thoughts, many have now gone back to their Swiss bank telling it to disclose instead, and are now planning their voluntary disclosures to the tax man in the UK.
What does this mean for me?
If you hold a bank account in Switzerland you have a short period of time now to regularise your tax affairs. If you do nothing then the Swiss will disclose your details to the taxman and you may face prosecution or an intrusive and expensive tax investigation. If you opt not to disclose then the Swiss could deduct a huge swathe of your money. Most Swiss bank holders are taking another approach. They are telling the Swiss bank to disclose. However they are then pre-empting that by making a voluntary disclosure in the UK. Usually this will be using the Liechtenstein Disclosure Facility. This will lead generally to a far lower payment and also guarantees immunity from prosecution and regularises their position in the UK.
How can Lynam Tax Disclosure Experts help me?
Lynam Tax experts have a massive amount of experience in dealing with UK tax payers with offshore bank accounts. We are currently helping a large number of people with such disclosures; particularly the use of the Liechtenstein Disclosure Facility.
Do not delay! Call Paul Lynam now on 0845 643 9997