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Jump into a Jersey

19 January 2006 / Richard Curtis
Issue: 4041 / Categories: Comment & Analysis , Inheritance Tax , Residence & domicile
RICHARD CURTIS takes a quick look at the practical advantages of, and problems that can arise from, having an offshore account.

OFFSHORE BANK ACCOUNTS. Perhaps we should face facts that this phrase — to some people — can still conjure up images of suitcases full of cash and secret bank accounts. However in more and more countries the days of those images like the accounts themselves are 'numbered'. The European Savings Tax Directive — of which more later — has meant the choice between 'tax or disclosure'. Jurisdictions such as the Channel Islands take a robust approach on money laundering and this and other legislation has persuaded advisers that a much more stringent view must be taken when dealing with such matters. As if that was not enough back in June 2005 it was reported that HMRC's Offshore Fraud Project Group would be targeting such accounts stating that these figured in 75% of investigations that yielded undeclared income.
The Group had recovered tax of 'just'...

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