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New measures in the fight against offshore tax evasion.

Within days of HMRC announcing a new anti-avoidance campaign targeting those with hidden offshore income, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has received endorsement from the G20 for a new single global standard for the automatic exchange of financial account information between international tax authorities.

Stuart Coleman, Manager of the Tax Department of ABDS comments:
“The proposed new Common Reporting Standard (CRS) is based on the US Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA), and was announced by a spokesperson for all the finance ministers of the G20 countries who were in agreement that the new protocol on information exchange should be in place by the end of 2015.”

The CRS outlines the information that jurisdictions will be required to collect and exchange and the model competent authority agreement (CAA) provides further details on the rules for the exchange of information.  This includes the type of financial institutions required to make a report and the type of account, the common due diligence procedures to be followed, and which taxpayers and what financial information are to be reported.

More than 40 countries have signed up for the early implementation of the CRS and the OECD hope this number will continue to rise.

HMRC published their report entitled ‘How we tackle offshore evasion’, signalling a new campaign targeting those with undeclared income or gains related to offshore assets. 

The HMRC campaign will run in national newspapers and various magazines and will warn those using offshore structures to hide their wealth that not only are they more likely than ever to be identified, but the penalties for continuing to avoid their UK tax obligations will be significant.

Stuart Coleman continues:
“HMRC’s message is very clear. The developments in relation to the automatic exchange of information are creating an environment in which it is becoming increasingly impossible to evade tax through offshore structures.  Once identified, the potential measures to be taken against those who persist in failing to pay the UK tax due on their assets, will be severe, including stringent financial penalties and even possible imprisonment.”


If you need any help and advice for your business on Tax, VAT or the implications of the HMRC Taskforces, contact Lavinia Newman, Stuart Coleman or Tonmoy Kumar to discuss how ABDS can help

ABDS Chartered Certified Accountants of Southampton.
Tel: 023 8083 6900  E-mail: abds@netaccountants.net

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Great with people  
Clear and precise with advice
Timely and cost effective 
In touch with issues that face our clients
Mindful of our client’s long term strategic goals

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