Offshore Matters

/ Tax

Author: Henry Ejdelbaum

Tags: declaring income, Offshore assets

Between now and the end of August next year your accountant may write to you in slightly alarming terms pointing out that HMRC have access to all sorts of information about overseas assets and accounts and if you have not declared any income, gains etc. now is the time to do so.
All accountants who have given advice or services about offshore income, offshore financial accounts, or offshore assets in respect of capital gains, in the year to 30 September 2016 are required (if they are not to be fined £3,000) to write to all clients on behalf of HMRC.
While we applaud any attempt to make sure that everyone pays their fair share of tax we wonder how writing to people who have engaged the services of an accountant, presumably to help them “get it right” helps.
HMRC seem to have the attitude that anyone who holds any assets offshore is up to no good but there are far more legitimate reasons to hold offshore accounts than nefarious ones – holiday home ownership and working abroad spring immediately to mind. Just because something could be, and sometimes is, used for dishonest purposes does not mean that it is always being so used.

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