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Offshore tax deadline proves a busy time

HM Revenue and Customs has revealed there has been a last-minute rush from UK taxpayers who hold funds in offshore bank accounts which have not been declared to the Revenue. Those with undeclared bank accounts overseas had until 17:00 hours GMT to come forward and confirm that they were willing to cover any unpaid tax bills. The Revenue believes the campaign will bring in over £500 million from funds linked to over 300 UK and foreign banks.

A number of partnership arrangements with offshore banking havens have significantly reduced the number of areas in the world where funds can be deposited without the knowledge of the tax authorities. Due to a mixture of co-operation and arm twisting by the UK authorities places such as Luxembourg, a former banking tax haven, have been forced open up their books and reveal the full extent of UK citizens holding undeclared funds.

It is known that the UK government has a list of thousands of UK taxpayers who have yet to step forward but is offering them the opportunity to backdate their tax liabilities rather than face penalties of up to 100%. Many had considered trying to ride out this latest crackdown on overseas bank accounts but over the festive period it seems that many have since changed their mind.

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