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The Common Reporting Standard

Important information for clients who have income or assets outside the UK

The UK government has made some important changes to international tax compliance regulations. As a result of the changes, tax advisers are obliged to write to their individual clients by 31 August 2017 and make them aware of the CRS, the availability of voluntary disclosure facilities in respect of an individual's tax affairs and what could happen to those with unpaid taxes connected to overseas assets who do not come forward.

What is the CRS?
The CRS is an international agreement designed to help combat tax evasion by automatically exchanging bank account (and other financial asset information) with the tax authority in the country where the owner of the account is situated. The information will first be sent by the bank to the tax authority of the country where the bank is situated. The information will then be forwarded to the tax authority in the country where the account holder is situated. About 100 countries are currently signed up with more to follow. About half will be exchanging information this summer, with the remainder by September 2018.

What we must tell you
Under the regulations, tax advisers may either write to clients that meet specific criteria or, alternatively write to all clients. I have decided to write to all clients where we know that they have non UK assets or income and to make this page available to all of our other clients.

The legislation requires us to include some text specified by the regulations, together with a factsheet prepared by HMRC. The set text is as follows:

"From 2016, .HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) is getting an unprecedented amount of informationabout people’s overseas accounts, structures, trusts, and investments from more than 100 jurisdictions worldwide, thanks to agreements to increase global tax transparency. This gives HMRC unprecedented levels of information to check that, as in most cases, the right tax has been paid.

If you have already declared all of your past and present income or gains to HMRC, including from overseas, you do not need to worry. But if you are in any doubt, HMRC recommends that you read the factsheet attached to help you decide now what to do next "

The factsheet provided by HM Revenue and Customs referred to above can be found by following this link.

What you should do now
If you are confident that your tax affairs are in order, you do not need to do anything else. If, however, you are concerned that they may not be and you would value the opportunity to review your tax returns and/or the disclosures made, please contact me to discuss this matter.

There is no need or obligation on you to get in touch unless you have concerns. As mentioned above, we are making this document available to all of our clients to ensure we comply with our statutory obligations. We have no reason to believe that the affairs of any of our clients are not correct and complete or that all necessary disclosures have been made in relation to offshore income and gains but, if you have any questions or concerns about it, please do not hesitate to get in touch.

 

 

"If you are confident that your tax affairs are in order, you do not need to do anything else. If, however, you are concerned that they may not be and you would value the opportunity to review your tax returns and/or the disclosures made, please contact me to discuss this matter."