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Banks told to hand over offshore details

Banks told to hand over offshore details

Category: Offshore savings

Updated: 14/08/2009
First Published: 13/08/2009

This article was correct at the time of publication. It is now over 6 months old so the content may be out of date.

Over 300 banks have been ordered to hand over details about their customers with offshore accounts, ahead of the Government's New Disclosure Opportunity (NDO).

The initiative, which is being conducted by HM Revenues & Customs (HMRC), begins on 1 September and runs to 12 March 2010, with those taking the opportunity to disclose their unpaid taxes linked to offshore assets qualifying for a ten per cent penalty.

Those who choose not to disclose their untaxed money abroad will face a stiffer penalty of 30 per cent and an increased risk of facing criminal prosecution.

HMRC will use the details to ensure everyone pays the right level of tax and that all NDO disclosures are complete.

A similar disclosure programme took place in 2007 and was directed towards the UK's five largest high street banks.

"I know there are people who regret not taking advantage of our Offshore Disclosure Facility in 2007," said Dave Hartnett, Permanent Secretary for Tax at HMRC.

Concerning offshore account holders, he continued: "I urge any of them with unpaid tax liabilities connected to these accounts now or in the past to come forward and make a full disclosure during the NDO, because we will use the information provided by the 300 banks to pursue those people who continue to flout the UK's tax laws."

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