On 8 July 2015, HM Revenue & Customers in the UK released a notification to for “Financial institutions, tax advisers and other professionals that may be aware of, or have given advice in respect of, an offshore account (Link). The general description of the measure is cited as follows:
- The UK will begin to receive information on offshore accounts in 2017 and at the same time will begin to share information with other tax authorities on accounts held in the UK. This will allow HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) and other tax authorities to check that the right amount of tax is being paid on money held abroad.
- HMRC will open a time-limited disclosure facility in early 2016 to allow non-compliant taxpayers to correct their tax affairs under certain terms before HMRC start to receive data under the Common Reporting Standard. This new facility will be on tougher terms than the previous offshore disclosure facilities HMRC have operated.
- If non-compliant taxpayers continue to conceal their tax affairs, HMRC will enforce tough penalties for offshore evasion through the existing offshore penalty regime, new civil penalties for tax evaders and the new simple criminal offence for failing to declare taxable offshore income and gains.