HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has discovered half a million UK residents with offshore bank accounts as part of a crackdown on tax avoidance.
According to Treasury minister David Gauke, HMRC is seeking out money ‘hidden’ offshore. He said time was running out for people with offshore accounts to come forward voluntarily and negotiate a tax payment that could be lower than if they waited for HMRC to take action.
Gauke (pictured) said: ‘The options for hiding money offshore to evade UK tax are narrowing all the time and I would strongly urge anyone who is at all concerned that they may not have been paying the right tax on their offshore investments to talk to HMRC.
'The Government has made £917 million available to HMRC to tackle tax cheats and some of this money is already being very effectively deployed against offshore tax evaders.'
HMRC has run a number of amnesties for those with undisclosed earnings in offshore accounts. The most recent, the Liechtenstein Disclosure Facilities (LDF) began in September 2009 and will run until 31 March 2015. HMRC expects to net £3 billion from the LDF.