Information on over 8,000 HSBC Jersey clients has been leaked to the tax authorities. Half of the names on the list are UK residents, while the rest are based in various other countries, including Spain.
We had a similar situation with HSBC Geneva a few years ago. This enabled the tax authorities to trace tax evaders and recoup unpaid tax and interest and penalties.
This latest incident was uncovered by the Daily Telegraph which published an exposé on 8th November.
According to the report, HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) received information – names, addresses and account balances – on 4,388 UK residents from a whistleblower. Between them they hold £699 million in HSBC current accounts at the bank’s Jersey branches.
The list reportedly includes bankers, senior figures in the city, doctors, mining and oil executives and oil workers. It also contains dozens of people who appear to have no source of substantial income and yet hold large amounts in Jersey. HMRC is understood to be going through the list and comparing it to tax returns to determine which accounts have been correctly declared and which have not.
In all, the list contains 8,474 names, including 333 here in Spain. We can expect the names of clients based in other countries to be passed on to their tax authorities. This is what happened with the Geneva list and is typical of the exchange of information we see nowadays as governments work together to fight tax evasion.
It is of course completely legal to use offshore bank accounts, provided you accurately report the income (and wealth where applicable) in your country of residence. Whether you live in the UK or Spain, you are obliged to declare your worldwide income.
Offshore bank accounts can provide various advantages for British expatriates, but tax planning is not one of them. And you should only ever use tax planning which is compliant in your country of residence. If you are looking for tax efficient arrangements for your savings and investments, contact Blevins Franks for up-to-date advice on what works here in Spain, and also, importantly, what would work for your circumstances and objectives.
For more information and personalised advice, contact Blevins Franks on +34 971 719 181.
To keep in touch with the latest developments in the offshore world, check out the latest news on Blevins Franks Tax & Wealth Management Specialists.
Related articles to tax for foreigners living in Spain.
Blevins Franks Mallorca specialises in giving advice for tax-driven, wealth management investments. […] Blevins Franks Tax & Wealth Management Specialists
Blevins Franks Financial Management Limited (BFFM) is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority in the UK, reference number 179731. Where advice is provided outside the UK, via the Insurance Mediation Directive from Malta, the regulatory system differs in some respects from that of the UK. Blevins Franks Trustees Limited is authorised and regulated by the Malta Financial Services Authority for the administration of trusts and companies. Blevins Franks Tax Limited provides taxation advice; its advisers are fully qualified tax specialists. This promotion has been approved and issued by BFFM.
This article was written on the 23rd of November, 2012.
Text: By Bill Blevins,