The Swiss Tax Agreement, signed between the UK and Switzerland in April 2012, really starts to take effect from today – as Switzerland starts to pass previously secret tax information to the UK.
The terms of the Swiss Tax Agreement also mean that Swiss banks will either disclose bank account details to HM Revenue & Customs or deduct a punitive withholding tax. The Swiss Confederation paid an initial sum of £340m of that withholding tax to HMRC in January this year: with more to follow later.
The taxman’s specialist Offshore Co-ordination Unit will compare the Swiss data to Tax Return information and is likely to commence tax investigations within months. As with previous supplies of offshore bank data it is likely that a large number of these tax enquiries will be under Code of Practice 9 (the Contractual Disclosure Facility), and a small number will be Criminal Prosecutions.
This starts in the same month that HMRC have announced that the information which it will receive in respect of bank accounts in Jersey, Guernsey and the Isle of Man will relate to 2013; although it will not be passed to HMRC until 2016. This allows a 2 or 3 year window of opportunity for people with accounts in those jurisdictions to come forward and make voluntary disclosures prior to facing a serious back duty investigation.
What Does This Mean For Me?
If you have a Swiss bank account and undeclared UK tax liabilities then you only have a very short window of opportunity to come forward and make a voluntary disclosure – before you are subject to a tax investigation. People with bank accounts in the Isle of Man, Jersey or Guernsey have only a year or two longer (if they are not caught in the meantime) in which to sort out their historic tax affairs; before they also face an intrusive tax enquiry.
How Can Lynam Tax Disclosure Experts Help Me?
Lynam Tax Enquiry Experts have substantial experience of all the various Tax Amnesties, and have lots of clients registered for The Liechtenstein Disclosure Facility. In particular we can help taxpayers who do not have any Liechtenstein links to take advantage of the exceptional terms available; and are already doing so for a significant number of clients, with the full blessing of HMRC.
Act now. For a free, wholly confidential, and no commitment discussion: telephone
Paul Lynam on: 0845 643 9997
Andrew Nutbrown on: 07718 778710