HMRC Targets Overseas Property Owners
As reported by Grant Thornton, HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has announced that wealthy individuals who own land and property abroad are being targeted for investigation. Sophisticated data mining techniques will be used to identify potential targets who do not appear to have the means to purchase the property, as well as those who don’t declare the correct income and gains from the property. These individuals are one of the first groups to be targeted by the new HMRC ‘affluent teams’, which were announced by the Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Danny Alexander on 18 September 2011. HMRC has allocated £917 million to reduce the tax gap over the next 4 years. The new teams are part of that investment. The regional teams start work this month and bring together experts from across HMRC using new and innovative risk assessment techniques. It is expected that initial letters will start to be issued in the next two months. Other groups currently planned to be targeted include commodity traders and individuals holding offshore accounts.