Moving overseas assets to non-disclosure jurisdictions risks criminal investigations
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19/08/2014

The new consultation paper issued today by HMRC, which plans to make it a criminal offence to evade offshore tax, will directly impact those investors looking to move money to non-disclosure jurisdictions. HMRC will ‘prioritise for criminal investigation’ those who move out of a jurisdiction with a disclosure agreement in place* in an attempt to escape scrutiny.

Research** by Skandia International, part of Old Mutual Wealth, has found that 38% of advisers with clients holding offshore assets say their clients are starting to prefer other non-disclosure jurisdictions for investing their money. The new proposals announced today mean that anyone taking such action, and moving money to a non-disclosure jurisdiction, will be prioritised for criminal investigation by HMRC.

HMRC have also issued a subsequent consultation paper today outlining proposals to impose tougher penalties for those evading UK tax by placing their money in a non-disclosure jurisdiction. The tougher penalty is 100% greater than if money is placed in a disclosure jurisdiction.

Investors need to think carefully about what actions they take. Moving money to a non-disclosure country could be very short sighted and will, if the proposals are introduced, have serious criminal implications, even if they did not ‘intend’ to avoid paying any tax.

Disclosing overseas assets doesn’t have to be painful. With advice from a professional, the assets can be restructured to make them efficient from a tax and reporting perspective. For example, placing the investment into an offshore bond means the investment can grow free from tax (other than withholding taxes on the underlying funds) making it a more efficient investment going forward.

The consultation period is due to close 31 October 2014.

Rachael Griffin, head of technical marketing, comments:

“Investors with undisclosed overseas assets cannot afford to stick their head in the sand. HMRC are determined to tackle overseas tax evasion, regardless of whether there is any intent to avoid tax. Moving overseas assets to non-disclosure jurisdictions just delays the inevitable, and investors need to think carefully about their actions. Taking the bull by the horns and disclosing assets doesn’t have to be that painful. With professional advice, investors can still make their assets efficient from a tax and reporting perspective.”

*Refers to the new Common Reporting Standard (CRS) agreement, which is an automatic exchange of information the UK has with 42 other countries, due to be implemented shortly. The CRS will supply HMRC with extensive information on the offshore investments of UK residents.

**Skandia International Q2 2014 adviser survey, completed by 377 financial advisers from across the globe.

For more information contact

Sophie LentonOld Mutual Wealth02380 916 77007834 499 558
Amelie ShepherdOld Mutual Wealth02380 916 09107834 499 596

Notes to editors:

About Quilter plc:

Quilter plc is a leading wealth management business in the UK and internationally, helping to create prosperity for the generations of today and tomorrow.

Quilter plc oversees £116.5 billion in customer investments (as at 30 June 2018).

It has an adviser and customer offering spanning: financial advice; investment platforms; multi-asset investment solutions and discretionary fund management.

The business is comprised of two segments: Wealth Platforms and Advice and Wealth Management.

Wealth Platforms includes the Old Mutual Wealth UK Platform; Old Mutual International, including AAM Advisory in Singapore; and the Old Mutual Wealth Heritage life assurance business.

Advice and Wealth Management encompasses the financial planning network, Intrinsic; Old Mutual Wealth Private Client Advisers; discretionary fund management business, Quilter Cheviot; and the Multi-asset investment solutions business.

The Quilter plc businesses are being re-branded to Quilter over a period of approximately two years:

• The Multi-asset business is now Quilter Investors

• Intrinsic to Quilter Financial Planning

• Private Client Advisers to Quilter Private Client Advisers

• The UK Platform to Quilter Wealth Solutions

• The International business to Quilter International

• The Heritage life assurance business to Quilter Life Assurance

• Quilter Cheviot will retain its name

This press release is for journalists only and should not be relied upon by financial advisers or customers.

Please remember that past performance is not a guide to future performance. The value of investments and the income from them can go down as well as up and investors may not get back any of the amount originally invested. Exchange rate changes may cause the value of overseas investments to rise or fall.

This communication is issued by Quilter plc.  Registered office: Millennium Bridge House, 2 Lambeth Hill, London EC4V 4AJ, United Kingdom. Registered number: 6404270.  Registered in England.