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Own up to offshore accounts now

HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) is encouraging investors to disclose any money hidden in overseas accounts now before the serious crackdown on tax dodgers starts on July 9th.Taxpayers will be given a 16-day reprieve after the deadline for declaration of intention to disclose on the June 22nd but thereafter there will be no mercy for those who intentionally hide their taxable accounts.Steve Besford, head of tax investigations at Chiltern said: "July 9th is the first date on which the Revenue can be assured that all notifications have been processed and the appropriate 'no enquiry' signal posted to the taxpayer's computer record." He warned: "If additional tax is found to be due as a result of these enquiries, the Revenue will seek considerably higher penalties than the 10 per cent on offer under the amnesty and may even launch criminal investigations."HMRC has already 'risk assessed' the offshore account information it currently has and any dodgy-looking cases will be passed on to local offices, civil investigation of fraud offices and special civil investigation offices for investigation after July 9th.

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