LONDON – The UK is actively pursuing tax evaders with accounts in other countries, and is lodging hundreds of requests for information from foreign governments and tax authorities.
In a statement issued on January 7th UK law firm Pinsent Masons revealed that over the course of 2012 the HM Revenue and Customs made 640 requests to foreign governments for information about taxpayers suspected of evading their UK tax obligations.
The governments of Australia, Spain and Ireland received the most request for information from the HMRC, being sent 96, 49 and 38 inquiries respectively.
According to Pinsent Masons the number of requests issued by the HMRC has dropped off by almost 40 percent in 2012 compared to the previous year when over 850 requests were made.
One of the Partners at the law firm Phil Berwick commented on the findings and explained the steep drop off in the number of requests launched, saying that over the last few years the HMRC has built up a extensive database of tax evaders and has already initiated investigations and legal proceedings against many of the alleged tax evaders.
Phil Berwick also said that the number of foreign requests also shows the extent to which the HMRC is willing to go to catch tax evaders, saying that many of the investigations being conducted now are a result of information provided by whistleblowers and leaked information.
Photo by Karen V Bryan