The British taxman is getting yet more information about bank accounts held by UK residents in tax havens: following an agreement with the principality of Andorra.
A European Commission press release, issued under the heading “fighting tax evasion”, confirmed that the EU and Andorra have today signed a new “tax transparency agreement”.
From 2018, Andorra and all EU Member States will automatically exchange information on the financial accounts of each other’s taxpayers. Tax authorities (like Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs in the United Kingdom) will be given the names; addresses; dates of birth; and tax identification numbers of all of their residents with bank accounts in Andorra – plus other financial information, such as account balances.
Similar arrangements were made last year with Liechtenstein; San Marino; and Switzerland. An agreement with Monaco is in the offing. Each of these European states were previously considered impregnable bastions of banking secrecy.
The aim of the agreements is to “throw a powerful spotlight on those who try to escape taxation by hiding their money abroad, making it harder for EU citizens to hide undeclared income in financial institutions”. HMRC tax inspectors will be “equipped to detect and pursue tax evaders, who will no longer be able to exploit bank secrecy to hide income and assets abroad”.
What does this mean for me?
If you have a bank account in Andorra (or any other so-called tax haven), then the likelihood is that the British taxman will know about it within the next two years or so. If you do not make a voluntary disclosure in the near future then you will almost certainly be investigated by HMRC. Criminal prosecution would be a very real likelihood. Conviction of such an offence could lead to a prison sentence and a confiscation order. However, there are still opportunities to reveal historic tax irregularities on favourable terms.
How can Lynam Tax Enquiry Experts help me?
Our specialists have a massive amount of recent experience dealing with the disclosure of tax irregularities linked to offshore bank accounts and assets. We can ensure that your tax affairs are sorted out promptly and on the most favourable terms possible. Your initial telephone consultation is completely confidential and without charge.
*For your free; discreet; no obligation; consultation, call today:
Paul Lynam: 0845 643 9997
Andrew Nutbrown: 07718 778710