Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs have now sent the first of a total of 6,500 letters to be issued to UK holders of Swiss bank accounts. The taxman is giving them just 6 weeks to start rectifying their tax affairs: according to a report in Accountancy Age by Calum Fuller.
Letters being sent out from the end of September advise UK residents with Swiss bank accounts that they must notify HMRC of their intention to make a full disclosure within 6 weeks or face an intrusive tax investigation. They are being urged to consider using the Liechtenstein Disclosure Facility, which allows disclosure of historic tax liabilities on favourable terms. Penalties under the LDF are typically 10% or 20% of the tax due: whereas people who face penalties after an investigation could find themselves faced with a fine of up to 150% of the tax due.
Under the terms of the Swiss Tax Agreement many UK citizens notified their Swiss bank that they could disclose the details to HMRC – rather than deducting a one-off swingeing and confiscatory tax payment at source. However, people who opted for that route still need to disclose their affairs to HMRC. The Revenue confirmed that it is those people who are now being targeted, saying: “The first 6,500 letters were sent on 20 September to people who have chosen to disclose their details to HMRC rather than pay the Swiss withholding tax. We will use this information and the taxpayer’s self certification to ensure the right tax is being paid to the UK.”
What does this mean for me?
If you have an offshore bank account which you have not yet disclosed to HMRC, then you need to give some serious consideration to making an early and full disclosure to the taxman. If you have received a letter from HMRC regarding your Swiss account, then you need to take specialist advice immediately: even if you do not think you have a tax liability in the UK. It is imperative that you are in a position to respond to HMRC prior to the deadline they set.
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