Feeds

HMRC pays criminal for 'tax dodger' discs

CDs lost in the post? Buy some stolen ones...

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC) is paying a German crook a reward for allegedly stolen information about bank accounts in Liechtenstein. The information is believed to relate to 100 people who between them owe the UK tax authorities more than £100m.

The tiny princedom is much loved by tax dodgers for its refusal to sign up to international finance treaties - The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development named Liechtenstein as an "uncooperative tax haven" last year.

The Revenue has paid in the region of £100,000 for a set of discs with details of various Liechtenstein account holders. The Revenue has not confirmed who it paid, but it has been widely reported to be a whistleblower who used to work for a Liechtenstein bank.

But the deal has raised disquiet about the methods the Revenue is now prepared to use to catch suspected fraudsters.

One such concern would be that if any of the alleged evaders took their case to court HMRC would have trouble getting its dodgy dossier accepted as evidence by a British court. But lawyers seem to believe the Revenue is exempt from such considerations. The Inland Revenue is also protected from Data Protection laws when it is investigating fraud.

HMRC acting chairman Dave Hartnett said: "Most people under investigation have substantial amounts to pay with at least £100m tax at risk in the UK. HMRC is determined to protect the UK's tax base from evasion and in doing so we will use all the statutory powers we have. It should now be clear to everyone that there is no safe hiding place for the proceeds of tax evasion.

"Those who have hidden income and gains should make a prompt and complete disclosure to HMRC. And in the light of recent developments involving Liechtenstein bank accounts, there needs to be a significant move towards full implementation of OECD standards on transparency and effective exchange of information in tax matters."

It has been reported that the Revenue was offered the information two years ago, but turned it down.

German authorities paid more than £3m for similar information which led them to 750 German citizens with secret accounts in the principality.

It also emerged today that German intelligence is prepared to share the information with other nations. Finland, Norway, and Sweden are believed to have already expressed an interest. ®

Intelligent flash storage arrays

More from The Register

next story
Facebook pays INFINITELY MORE UK corp tax than in 2012
Thanks for the £3k, Zuck. Doh! you're IN CREDIT. Guess not
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
Sysadmin with EBOLA? Gartner's issued advice to debug your biz
Start hoarding cleaning supplies, analyst firm says, and assume your team will scatter
YARR! Pirates walk the plank: DMCA magnets sink in Google results
Spaffing copyrighted stuff over the web? No search ranking for you
Don't bother telling people if you lose their data, say Euro bods
You read that right – with the proviso that it's encrypted
Apple SILENCES Bose, YANKS headphones from stores
The, er, Beats go on after noise-cancelling spat
prev story

Whitepapers

Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.