Investigation into HSBC Swiss Account Holders

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Acting upon information obtained from an ex-employee of HSBC’s Swiss division who stole a list of account holders from HSBC, HMRC are launching enquiries into UK taxpayers suspected of evading UK tax using relevant HMRC powers.

Any UK taxpayers with income from an offshore account that has not been disclosed to HMRC are strongly advised to disclose any income using the current disclosure facility before it is too late to minimise any penalties for non-disclosure. Once a letter has been issued by HMRC, the disclosure facility cannot be used and individuals will be at risk of higher penalties and closer scrutiny by HMRC.

Over the past three years, HMRC has gathered information on offshore account holders from a variety of sources, but so far the number of letters issued has been relatively low. However, this is unlikely to continue for long as there are warnings HMRC will be making a concerted effort in reviewing the data on HSBC Swiss account holders.

Philippe Barbasiewicz
11 October 2010

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