Swiss bank account holders who have legitimate reasons for keeping their money offshore are on the taxman’s hit list. Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has announced it has written to 6,000 people with bank accounts with HSBC in Geneva, urging them to declare their potential tax liabilities.
Many people with have legitimate reasons for not having declared their Swiss accounts. For example non-domicillaries would have no reason to declare an account to HMRC, but might have been contacted by the Revenue because HSBC’s list of account holders would not include their domiciliary status which might already be established with HMRC.
If you have received what is known as a Code of Practice 9 letter from HMRC you should seek professional legal advice and, if necessary, declare liabilities to HMRC as quickly as possible. HMRC has confirmed individuals will have 30 days from receiving their letters to declare their liabilities. The Revenue has threatened to begin criminal investigations, including those surrounding possible serious fraud offences, one these grace periods have expired.
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