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No escape, tax amnesty rejectors are told

It’s been claimed poor publicity of the offer was the reason why just 12 per cent of UK residents with offshore bank accounts owned up to HM Revenue and Customs and their tax amnesty.

On Law and tax news.com, Alan McCann, director of tax at UK Top 30 accountancy and advisory firm DTE, says most of the 400,000 UK investors affected did not know about the offer until after the June 22 deadline.

HMRC had encouraged a number of top banks, including Barclays, HSBC, HBOS, Royal Bank of Scotland and Lloyds TSB to give details of their customers' offshore accounts, and had left it to the banks to tell their customers about the amnesty.

But, just a week before the amnesty was due to expire, alarmed by the poor take-up, HMRC sent an emergency letter to half of the targeted 400,000.

Eventually, just 50,000 people took advantage.

Mr McCann is quoted as saying ‘for the thousands of people who have not come forward, ultimately there is no escape’.

HMRC has the names and account numbers of all 400,000 investors potentially affected.

It will sift its way through the entire pile, even if it takes years, and will certainly go after the people it believes haven’t made a disclosure.

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