Author: Azizur Rahman 1 November 2017
Some of Britain's wealthiest individuals are facing investigation by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) due to leaked information from a law firm.
The financial affairs of rich individuals could be scrutinised by HMRC because the hacking of the Bermuda-based law firm Appleby has led to the leak of private financial records; believed to include schemes devised to avoid paying tax.
HMRC is believed to have been aware of the leaked details for some time. The hacking was carried out in 2016.
Aziz Rahman, founder of Rahman Ravelli, said that the individuals whose financial records have been leaked may face questioning from HMRC due to its tough stance on the non-payment of tax.
He added: “This latest episode comes a year and a half after similar information that led to the Panama Papers scandal; when a Panamanian law firm’s client records were leaked.
“In recent years, the issue of offshore accounts and trusts – which have enabled many wealthy people to escape paying tax – have come under increasing scrutiny from the authorities.
“HMRC is now much more inquisitive and takes a much tougher approach to such schemes than it did in previous years. This means that many schemes that may have not attracted official attention in the past are being scrutinised very closely, with a view to action being brought against their creators and beneficiaries.
“Back in May 2016, we warned of the implications of the Panama Papers scandal – and how people can defend themselves against such accusations.’’
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Aziz Rahman is Senior Partner at Rahman Ravelli and its founder. His ability to coordinate national, international and multi-agency defences has led to success in some of the most significant corporate crime cases of this century and top rankings in international legal guides. He is recognised worldwide as one of the most capable legal experts regarding top-level, high-value commercial and financial disputes.