There is a stark warning for non-doms with offshore structures in HMRC’s recent publication “No Safe Havens 2019”. Last year HMRC received 5.67 million records of UK tax payers’ offshore bank accounts under the Common Reporting Standard. They correlated these with the tax return submissions and property sale information of 500,000 individuals. Illegal tax evasion will clearly be caught but this campaign to contact those under scrutiny marks a new departure in HMRC strategy. Honest mistakes are now actively targeted. For example, a tax payer who took professional tax advice on legal tax planning might not realise that laws had subsequently changed. A further warning for non-doms is that HMRC’s time limit on investigations into offshore accounts has been extended to 12 years and there is a tougher penalty regime.
Mark Davies’ warning to non-doms is to declare everything correctly and refresh past tax advice. A law or its interpretation may have changed.
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