HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) have announced that they intend to open enquiries into at least 100,000 taxpayers who have failed to comply with the amnesty, which ended on 22 June 2007, for disclosure of undeclared income arising on bank accounts held offshore. This represents a significant increase in the number of taxpayers thought likely to be targeted and implies that HMRC’s current enquiries in this area have indicated that the potential tax yield is likely to be greater than their original estimates led them to believe.
It has also been announced that, eventually, the accounts of all 400,000 offshore account holders known to HMRC will have their accounts reviewed.
It has recently been reported that a second amnesty, similar to that offered in the spring of 2007, will be offered - however, the terms are not likely to be as generous as the first amnesty. Also, HMRC are to ask a further 175 foreign banks for details of UK residents holding accounts with them. At the latest estimate, tax of £120m is estimated to have been assessed as a result of the first amnesty.
If you receive a letter from HMRC concerning your overseas bank account, contact us for advice.