Taxman Tells Island Tax Evaders To Come Clean

HMRC issued a press release today saying: “Tax cheats who have been hiding investments and assets in the Isle of Man, Guernsey or Jersey to evade tax should  pay the tax they owe before HM Revenue and Customs clamps down on them”.

The taxman has brokered ground-breaking agreements with the so-called tax havens of Jersey, Guernsey and the Isle of Man: in order to “tackle offshore tax evasion” using bank accounts and other structures in the Crown Dependencies. The Bailiwick of Guernsey includes the separate jurisdictions of Alderney and Sark, and the islands of Herm, Jethou and Lihou.   Under the agreements tax evaders have until 30 September 2016 to: disclose hidden assets or investments; and pay the tax, interest and any penalties due.  At the end of the period, HMRC will automatically be given information from banks in those islands identifying all account holders.

HMRC are setting up several Offshore Disclosure Facilities to allow people to voluntarily settle their tax affairs – before HMRC starts to investigate.  HMRC warn that “those who ignore the disclosure opportunity could face criminal prosecution, significantly higher penalties, and the risk of having their names published, once the new information sharing agreement kicks in.”

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