Monday, 6 June 2011

Chasing 500,000 tax cheats

Her Majesty's Revenue & Customs has told me that the 500,000 people fingered by the papers over the weekend for having offshore accounts are in deeper trouble than first appeared.

They are the ones being targeted as tax cheats out of the millions who have bank accounts of some sort overseas.

Just to be clear on this, HMRC thinks that this group, which it says includes chip shop owners, taxi drivers and Blackpool landladies, are tax evaders as opposed to tax avoiders.

EVADERS don't pay the tax they owe.

AVOIDERS use loopholes and allowances to reduce the amount they owe.

There is nothing wrong with keeping money in an offshore account. The trouble comes if you don't declare the funds to the tax authorities here -- if you are UK resident for tax purposes.

Tax officers have raised nearly £500m in the last 20 months by offering amnesties to people with offshore accounts, allowing them to escape full penalties.

No comments:

Post a Comment