Deadline for telling clients about offshore risks is today

Today is the last day for advisers, wealth managers and financial institutions to inform their UK-tax-resident clients, in writing, of new rules relating to holding undeclared offshore accounts that could have “life-changing consequences” if ignored – and could also result in a £3,000 fine for any advisers who fail to comply.

As reported, the UK’s tax regulator has told advisers and wealth managers that they must, by the end of the day today, send their clients a strongly-worded cover letter, using specific HMRC “set text”,   which tells them in no uncertain terms to bring their affairs up to date.

(The cover letter may be sent as an email, providing it meets certain conditions, HMRC says.)

This cover letter must be accompanied by a “client notification letter”, supplied in pdf form on HMRC’s website here, which explains in further detail exactly what penalties those shirking their UK tax liabilities under UK law now face.

This client notification letter, which like the cover letter is also strongly-worded, concludes by urging those with undeclared offshore accounts to “come to us before we come to you”.

Those seeking to make a disclosure are invited to do so via a “Worldwide Disclosure Facility” portal on the UK Government’s website.

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