HMRC moves in on offshore fraud

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Court threat to offshore accounts as taxman does deal with Liechtenstein - Times Online .

Some of the richest people in the UK will find out today if the taxman will be allowed access to details of their secret offshore accounts.

The tax courts will rule on whether HM Revenue and Customs can demand information from accounts held by an estimated 500,000 Britons at 300 foreign banks with branches in the UK.

So every accountant should be dancing ion the streets (in the rain at the precise moment of writing) to celebrate the fact that another step is being taken to eliminate abuse in the UK's tax system.

But are they? Well, no:

John Cassidy, head of tax investigations at PKF, the accountant, said: “This seems like a move from a Government which is both strapped for cash and has a long-held desire to crack down on secretive tax havens.”

No it is not!!!!!

It's a desire to crack down on criminality: criminality supported by offshore service providers who are predominantly bankers, lawyers and accountants.

After yesterday's Liechtenstein deal this is further good news in the attack on offshore abuse. And in this case I suspect the Revenue has seriously under-estimated the ebenfit at £100 million.