The EU is going to introduce firmer rules in 2017 in order to obtain details of the owners and beneficiaries of all EU based companies and trusts; in order to prevent their use for tax evasion: according to a report in The Guardian on 19 December 2014.
The EU is going to make additions to the anti-money laundering rules, in order to create “central registers of the beneficial owners of companies, trusts and other legal entities, giving the name, month and year of birth, nationality and residency of the people who own and profit from them. Banks, accountants, lawyers, real estate agents and casinos will be required to be more vigilant about suspicious transactions made by customers”.
The registers will be open to national authorities within the EU, such as Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs. Banks and financial institutions will get partial access in order to carry out mandatory “know your client” checks. Partial access will also be available to anyone that who proves “a legitimate interest” in the information (e.g. journalists).
These plans are in addition to those by the following countries to create full public registers of company beneficial owners: United Kingdom, France, Denmark and The Netherlands.
What does this mean for me?
If you are the beneficial owner of shares in a so-called “shell company”, or the Settlor or Beneficiary of an offshore trust – and there are irregularities in your tax affairs related to those “secret” arrangements – then you are likely to be discovered by HMRC following the creation of these registers in 2017. There are a number of attractive “tax amnesties” available at the moment, which could allow you to settle your affairs on beneficial terms. Most of these will be closed in 2016. You may therefore wish to take specialist advice now in order to see how you can best regularise your affairs.
How can Lynam Tax Disclosure Experts help me?
Our Tax Disclosure Specialists have a huge amount of experience in dealing with voluntary disclosures in respect of UK residents with offshore bank accounts, companies and trusts. We have the training, knowledge, skills and deep experience to manage your offshore disclosure to HMRC. We can reduce the stress and get the best solution for you.
To find out how we can help you and for a free, confidential and no obligation discussion, call today on:
Call Paul Lynam today on 0845 643 9997
or Andrew Nutbrown on 07718 778710