HMRC To Chase Up Owners of Swiss Bank Accounts

The HMRC have announced that they are preparing to write to a number of UK residents and organisations that hold Swiss bank accounts with HSBC in Geneva, specifically those who may not have reported their income and gains to the tax body. They are acting on information gained last year that claimed that 6,000 individuals, companies, trusts and other bodies held accounts with HSBC Geneva. They have already begun criminal investigations into 500 people who own such accounts and will now write to those who have not come forward in an effort to provide a "window of opportunity" for them to report their tax liabilities before investigations are launched. HMRC says that a criminal investigation could result in penalties of up to 200 per cent. HMRC permanent secretary for tax Dave Hartnett commented "This is not an amnesty. There are no special rates of penalty or interest f or 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 wai t for HMRC to contact you. Come forward to us and make a full disclosure."
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