HMRC targeting Swiss bank customers
Thursday 13 October 2011
HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) officials are targeting some 6,000 UK-based Swiss bank account holders in a clampdown on customers who may have failed to report all their income and gains.
The department announced plans today to write to residents and organisations holding accounts with HSBC in Geneva following information it received last year under a tax treaty.
The information showed that more than 6,000 individuals, companies, trusts and other bodies held accounts and investments with HSBC Geneva.
The revenue and customs body said it has already begun criminal and serious fraud investigations into more than 500 people and organisations holding these accounts, and it will write to people who have not yet come forward to give them a "window of opportunity".
If they fail to do so, HMRC said it will launch an investigation into their affairs, which could include a criminal investigation or result in penalties of up to 200% in some cases.
Dave Hartnett, HMRC's permanent secretary for tax, said: "This is not an amnesty.
"There are no special rates of penalty or interest for those who come forward voluntarily. This is an opportunity for those who have made errors in past returns to correct them.
"The net is closing on offshore evaders. Don't wait for HMRC to contact you. Come forward to us and make a full disclosure."
The announcement follows the signing of a tax agreement between Switzerland and the UK earlier this month which is set to raise billions of pounds for the UK from 2013 onwards.
The work will be led by HMRC's new offshore co-ordination unit, which becomes fully operational next month.
David Gauke, Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury, said: "The Government has shown its commitment to closing the tax gap by making an additional £917 million available to HMRC to tackle evasion, avoidance and fraud.
"This will fund the new offshore co-ordination unit and its specialist teams, which will drive forward this work."
- 1 Nigel Farage: Me vs Russell Brand on Question Time – he's got the chest hair but where are his ideas?
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
Weather bomb in pictures: Storms cuts power for tens of thousands – and snow is on the way
Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
Russell Brand was rendered speechless on Question Time by this man
Fury at Airbus after it hints the super-jumbo may be mothballed
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
Nigel Farage's approval rating hits 'record low' as popularity suffers in wake of Ukip sex scandal
Nigel Farage defends Kerry Smith 'ch***y' comment: 'If you are going for a Chinese, what do you say you’re going for?'
Pakistan school attack live: Taliban kill at least 132 children in 'horrifying' massacre
Sony hack: Angelina Jolie branded 'seriously out of her mind' in further embarrassing leaked email saga
Panic Saturday: 13 million Britons spend £1.2bn – while 13 million others across the country live in poverty unable to afford food
£65000 - £80000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Finance Director required to jo...
£15000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a unique opportunity fo...
£50000 per annum + 26 days holiday,pension: Ashdown Group: A highly successful...
£27000 per annum + pension + holidays: The Jenrick Group: A Quality Technician...