HMRC tracking businesses in tax havens

HMRC is tracking hundreds of UK businesses and individuals that it suspects of using offshore tax havens to help lower their tax bills ‘artificially’, says City Law firm Pinsent Masons.

A Freedom of Information request found that HMRC has requested 429 records for 277 UK taxpayers in the last year.  They were able to do this because of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s initiative that allows authorities to access information from 12 low or no-tax areas – which includes Jersey, Barbados, the British Virgin Islands, and Bermuda.

Pinsent Jake Landman said: “HMRC won’t allow businesses connected to the UK to simply channel funds to Jersey or the Caymans if they don’t have genuine operations there. HMRC has a real focus on worldwide profit-shifting and it will be looking for extra tax and penalties from businesses that use tax haven artificially.”