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Offshore tax dodgers told to come clean

Offshore tax dodgers told to come clean

Category: Offshore savings

Updated: 29/03/2010
First Published: 29/03/2010

MONEYFACTS ARCHIVE
This article was correct at the time of publication. It is now over 6 months old so the content may be out of date.
Savers and investors with money in offshore accounts have been told now is the time to come clean about any tax they have so far failed to declare.

Tough new penalties on offshore tax evasion were announced in last week's Budget that could see guilty parties having to pay up to 200% of the tax due if they are found out.

While the new rules are set to come into force in April next year, the maximum penalty that can be charged at present is 100% of the tax owed.

There is, however, another option currently available to offshore savers concerned they have not declared their tax: the Liechtenstein Disclosure Facility (LDF) is a special deal agreed last year between Liechtenstein and the UK that sees the penalty payable on unpaid tax fixed at a maximum of 10%.

"The LDF is a golden opportunity to properly resolve matters with HMRC with only a 10% penalty being applied and the minimum of fuss," said John Cassidy, tax investigations partner at PKF.

"Many people with serious tax problems linked to offshore accounts will be able to use the LDF despite currently having no interest in Liechtenstein assets.

"It is financial madness not to address these problems immediately by taking advantage of the Liechtenstein facility currently on offer.

"Common sense dictates that anyone who has not declared their offshore account should now use the LDF to get their tax affairs put right while it is still relatively cheap to do so."

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