UK: HMRC calls on collapsed bank’s customers to hand over tax information.

As published on cityam.com, Wednesday 7 September, 2022.

HM Revenues and Customs has called on Euro Pacific Bank’s British customers to hand over information about their tax affairs, following the launch of a tax evasion probe into the Puerto Rican bank.

The UK taxman called on the around 600 people in the UK who used Euro Pacific Banks services to come forward after it launched an investigation into offshore tax evasion and money laundering.

“Anyone with an account at this bank should come and speak to us before we come and speak to you,” HMRC’s director of fraud investigations, Simon York, said.

HMRC has already launched criminal investigations into a number of the bank’s customers, after Euro Pacific was suspended from trading, and later collapsed into administration, earlier this year.

“We have tax enquiries, criminal investigations and intelligence operations already underway involving this bank and there will be more to come,” York said.

Lisa Vanderheide, tax director at law firm Stewarts, said criminal investigations will likely be targeted towards “high profile individuals” and those involved in “particularly egregious” cases involving “large sums of money”.

The tax lawyer said any former Euro Pacific Bank customers who have received a letter from HMRC should “act quickly and take advice as to whether a disclosure is required”.

“A letter from HMRC should not be ignored as failure to act is likely to result in an HMRC investigation,” Vanderheide said.

She said individuals already being investigated may be subject to dawn raids, through which HMRC officials and police search suspect’s properties.

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