Tax investigators have now got their first criminal conviction arising from the stolen HSBC bank data HMRC acquired two years ago.
Property developer Michael Shanly, aged 67, from Berkshire, is on the Sunday Times Rich List with an estimated fortune of £132million. He admitted tax evasion of £430,000 Inheritance Tax on money he had in a Swiss bank account. With penalties and interest he will have to pay HM Revenue & Customs £856,547.
Two years ago HMRC got hold of data relating to about 6,000 Brits who had bank accounts with the Swiss arm of HSBC bank. The list had been stolen by a former employee of the bank who allegedly sold it to the French authorities, who passed to Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs. Shanly’s details are believed to be on the stolen disc: even though he had closed the account.
In 2011 the tax investigators at HMRC’s Offshore Co-ordination Unit wrote to 1,000 UK citizens giving them the opportunity to make a full disclosure. Those who have not yet come forward, or who have made incomplete disclosures, are being targeted for criminal prosecution.
David Gauke, exchequer secretary to the Treasury said: “Even if you try to hide money abroad, HMRC will find you.”
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