Offshore Coordination Unit
The offshore coordination unit was formed in 2011 and is part of Specialist Investigations. The Offshore Coordination unit was formed to obtain information from overseas tax authorities to enable HMRC to undertake focussed tax investigations into suspected tax fraud relating to overseas assets.
The offshore coordination unit was responsible for processing and undertaking tax investigations into the stolen information from the HSBC in Switzerland.
Since the offshore coordination unit was set up it has built up relationships with overseas tax authorities and these contacts have been used to obtain significant information about overseas property held by UK residents as well as certain financial information relating to overseas bank accounts.
The offshore coordination unit has also been heavily involved in the:
- UK / Swiss Tax Agreement
- Liechtenstein Disclosure Facility
- Isle of Man Disclosure Facility
- Guernsey Disclosure Facility
- Jersey Disclosure Facility
The information that the Offshore Coordination Unit receive is fed into a complex computer programme (HMRC’s Connect System) which contains more than a billion records. This information is then analysed for the offshore coordination unit where it compares assets held (in the UK as well as abroad in Europe and the United States) to declared income in the United Kingdom.
Although the use of the connect system is in its infancy with regards to offshore assets as the OECD nations are working closely to target tax evasion and sharing of information and this will enable the offshore coordination unit to identify potential tax evasion by looking at assets held in OECD nations.
In addition to its own reported 100 investigators the offshore coordination unit also acts as a source of tax investigation information for the rest of HMRC. Serious cases will be passed for potential prosecution for tax evasion and then filtered down to various other departments including:
- Specialist Investigations
- Local Compliance: Fraud
HMRC are really focussing on instances where tax evasion is masked by holding the assets abroad and the offshore coordination unit are the spear head of this focus.
According to HMRC’s document “Closing in on Tax Evasion” the serious push relating to investigate offshore property ownership is to start in May 2013.
Gilbert Tax understands that people sometimes make mistakes in their dealings with HMRC and that HMRC make mistakes in dealing with taxpayers. Many people do not know how to deal with HMRC or who to turn to for help resolve the tax dispute.
Gilbert Tax is a firm of tax advisors who specialise in resolving people's problems with HMRC. We have extensive expertise in dealing with all forms of tax investigations and tax disputes as well as with taking matters to the Tax Tribunal where agreement cannot be reached.
Gilbert Tax deal both directly with the individual who is under enquiry and also work with many firms of accountants supporting them in dealing with HMRC disputes and advising them on how to handle HRMC to get the best result.
The fact is that proper management of HMRC is the best way of reducing the tax, interest and penalty as well as the time taken in resolving any tax dispute.
Gilbert Tax are none judgemental and rigorously defend your position within the scope and parameter of the law. We take control and manage the process to minimise the interruptions that any form of tax investigation causes to an individual's life and business.