Swiss-based Tax Evasion Totals Mount Up

Swiss-based Tax Evasion Totals Mount Up

08 August 2012

British citizens may have evaded more than £200m in tax by using an HSBC-owned Swiss bank according to analysis of data smuggled out of the bank by a former IT worker in 2010.

The ex-employee handed over computer disks containing details of 6,000 UK-linked individuals, companies and trusts with holdings in off shore bank accounts at HSBC’s Geneva branch.

Two senior tax investigators who both worked at HMRC have said that the average amount evaded per account is likely to range between £33,000 and £50,000 according to a report from the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, based at City University, London.

HMRC has told the Bureau of Investigation that ‘the early indications are that the amounts are significant’, according to the Observer.

Three weeks ago, HMRC secured its first high profile conviction from the HSBC Swiss bank data. Michael Shanly, a property developer fromBerkshire, was convicted of £430,000 inheritance tax evasion.

Shanly, who is thought to have an estimated fortune of £132m, is expected to pay £469,444 for failing to pay tax on money inherited from his mother’s estate. The money was placed in an HSBC Swiss bank account which Shanly failed to declare during a civil investigation of fraud. He has voluntarily paid HMRC £387,103 bringing this total to £856,547.

(Accountancy Live, 31 July 2012)

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