The International War on Offshore Tax Evasion

Last year nearly 100 countries automatic exchanged financial information with each other’s tax authorities: providing data on 84 million financial accounts held offshore by their residents, covering total assets of €10 Trillion.

The OECD is boasting that “The international community is making tremendous progress in the fight against offshore tax evasion, as countries move ever closer to the goal of eradicating banking secrecy for tax purposes”.

Under the terms of The Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes’ Common Reporting Standard (“CRS”), 97 countries carried out automatic exchanges of information in 2019. This handed their tax authorities data on 84 million financial accounts held offshore by their residents; nearly double the amount of accounts covered in 2018 – the first year of CRS. The OECD say “Automatic exchange of information is a game changer. We are moving closer to a world where there is nowhere left to hide. The discovery of previously hidden accounts has and will lead to billions in additional tax revenues.”

97 countries so far have signed up to the Common Reporting Standard. That number is expected to grow as The Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax brings together 161 countries and jurisdictions committed to OECD tax standards.

What does this mean to me?
If you have: money in an offshore bank account; a property abroad; assets held in foreign trusts; money invested in financial instruments held outside the UK; shares in a non-UK company; then it is likely that HMRC will receive detailed information about those investments in the near future. They will investigate. For people who don’t make voluntary disclosures before HMRC approaches them, there are extremely harsh penalties: which can include prison. An early voluntary disclosure can be made with a guarantee of immunity from prosecution and significantly lower financial penalties.

How can Lynam Tax Disclosure Experts Help Me?
Lynam Tax specialists have huge experience in successfully assisting clients in making voluntary disclosures relating to offshore income and assets. We can ensure that you get the best deal currently available: for example through HMRC’s Worldwide Disclosure Facility.

*Why not have a free confidential discussion with one of our experts right now?
Simply call:
Paul Lynam: 0845 643 9997
or
Andrew Nutbrown: 07718 778710