We recently reported that HMRC is actively recovering unpaid tax and we have found more details which support this. HMRC has apparently received the names, addresses and account details of every British account holder of HSBC Bank Jersey.

The Daily Telegraph reports that this list identifies up to 4,388 people holding nearly £700 million in offshore current accounts. Any person who has held an account in Jersey with HSBC and has not declared either the source of the funding into the account and/or subsequent income and gains needs to consider making a voluntary disclosure to HMRC immediately.

HMRC has announced an increase in the number of prosecutions and they appear to be eager to expose those who have undeclared income hidden offshore.

The link to the Daily Telegraph report is below :



Our recent article relating to HMRC investigations warned that these too are increasing.

Investigations into personal tax returns brought in 64% more cash in 2011/12 – £441m up from £269m in 2010/11.

HMRC is trying to maximise their income and one way of doing this is through more and tougher investigations.

Recent ‘task forces’ focused on specific sectors – motor traders and restaurants in our area. Also being closely observed are buy-to-let owners under-declaring rental income and capital gains. Another report out this week shows that they paid £374k to informers in the same period, an increase of 21% on the previous year. Aggrieved spouses on divorce seem to be a particularly rich source of information.

But you need to make sure HMRC is correct if you have been told such tax is due. Speak to us to ensure they are correct. We have a great HMRC Enquiries and Dispute Service which is just for these situations.


HMRC Lose Gross Status Case

There has been a very recent decision in the case of J P Whitter (Waterwell Engineers) Ltd. The first tier tribunal overturned HMRC’s withdrawal of gross payment status from the company.

The business had suffered cashflow problems and had paid its PAYE late on several occasions in 2008 and 2009. They had twice before been threatened with the withdrawal of their gross payment status and had given undertakings to improve this. Theypaid late for at least seven consecutive months in 2010/11, including one payment which was over 118 days late.

The company appealed because the effect on their business would be disastrous and this was disproportionate given the trivial nature of the compliance failure. The tribunal agreed that HMRC should have taken the financial effect into consideration and reinstated gross payment status.

Withdrawal of gross payment status can be disastrous for a business so this is a welcome result.


HMRC Advertising Campaign Warns Tax Cheats

Plastered all over Torbay at the moment, HMRC posters are part of a new campaign by HMRC to help taxpayers pay the right amount of tax at the right time.

David Gauke, Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury, said: “Most people play by the rules and pay what they owe, but HMRC is cracking down on those who don’t.”

Using the £917 million the Government has made available to tackle avoidance, evasion and fraud, HMRC is closing in on tax cheats. “It always makes sense to declare all your income and tax dodgers are simply storing up trouble for the future; getting caught means higher fines, and in the most serious cases criminal prosecution. There is an alternative. Simply visit the new website and make a fresh start.”

The website is www.gov.uk/sortmytax

Any problems or questions about your tax? Simply call Vincent & Co for sensible advice.