Legal and Finance: Offshore Investors Will Get Revenue Surprise
A Bank of Ireland inheritence-tax disaster has exposed UK taxpayers to the full wrath of the Inland Revenue, according to accountancy firm Ernst & Young.
The foul-up has forced the bank to pass over details of its UK customers with Jersey-based trusts.
Now a large-scale tax investigation is taking place, spearheaded by the Revenue's Special Compliance Office. Although some initial reports suggested up to 9,000 investors would be affected by the disclosure it is understood that the Bank ended up reporting details of up to 400 trusts.
Mick Howlett, senior manager in Ernst & Young's tax risk management group, said: 'The Revenue will be rubbing their hands with glee as a result. SCO devote a substantial amount of effort trying to trace UK taxpayers using offshore arrangements and to be handed details of this nature should provide them with a field day.'
The Bank of Ireland wrote to those affected by the matter last week explaining the action that they had taken and the implications. It advised them that if there were tax issues at stake early disclosure would influence how the Revenue handled the matter. …