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Govt targets wealthy Britons in offshore tax probe

HM Revenue & Customs is investigating the offshore dealings of hundreds of Britons who are suspected of evading more than £1bn in tax on investments held in Liechtenstein.

Around three hundred people are being contacted regarding assets held in the LGT bank for tax reasons and could face prosecution if they are found to have lied about assets held in previous probes.

In April 2007, HMRC announced a tax amnesty for savers who had undeclared offshore income to come forward and settle for a fixed rate penalty in a bid to boost internal revenue and close the net on those who were deliberately evading payment on their accounts. Since then more than 44,000 people with offshore investments have come forward to declare their assets.

In the second part of its tax-haven clampdown, the Government has announced plans to investigate offshore account holders over the coming months. HMRC is currently seeking legal notices to force around 25 foreign banks to disclose information about clients with offshore accounts.

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A shaw thing

Annie Shaw is a freelance financial journalist
All things must pass and this column has reached the end of its useful life. It would be churlish not to mention my final fling on behalf of the Shaws. Between two days of continuous summer downpours, I spent a gloriously sunny day at Newmarket as a guest of fund manager T Bailey in the presence of PRs Martin Stott and Kirsty Wiser. Lanson Ladies’ Day at Newmarket’s July course provided a fitting finale for this column.

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