HMRC sets its sights on offshore trusts

As part of HM Revenue and Customs monthly campaigns to tackle tax evasion, offshore trusts will come under increased scrutiny, warns DSH Chartered Accountants & Business Advisors.

The campaign follows recent agreements with Jersey, Guernsey and the Isle of Man to share tax information with the UK authorities, and Bermuda and other British overseas territories with financial centres have now also announced similar agreements.

HMRC is committed to identifying offshore trusts that are being used to hide income and wealth overseas. Failure to inform HMRC of offshore arrangements could result in penalties as high as 200 per cent of the tax outstanding, and may also lead to criminal prosecution.

Steve Carpenter, Tax Manager at DSH, said: “The primary purpose of trusts is to protect assets. There is less impact on non-UK resident or non-UK domiciled individuals, but the current stringent regime means most UK resident individuals would be subject to income, capital gains and inheritance taxes on monies held within offshore arrangements.

“We would advise anyone with funds in offshore trust arrangements to get in contact with us to review their situation and ensure they are compliant in the UK. If they aren’t, possibly because they have not kept up to date with changes in tax laws, they should look to make a voluntary disclosure to HMRC.”

To find out more about DSH Chartered Accountants & Business Advisors, which has offices in Kent and Hertfordshire, visit or call 01622 690666 or 01923 771010.

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