26th April 2017
As you may have read in our blog earlier this week, one of Switzerland’s largest banks, Credit Suisse is currently embroiled in a global tax evasion case, which has seen cross-border collaboration between a numbers of European governments in the fight against transgression on an international scale.
No hiding for tax evaders
At the beginning of the month dozens of officers raided the home of a Dutch couple in Macclesfield accused of running a multinational tax avoidance scheme. British, Dutch and Austria authorities have since seized more than €6m (£5.1m) worth of assets – including a number of luxury cars, a speedboat and two properties – from the Anglo-Dutch couple.
Commenting on the raids, Paul Maybury, assistant director of fraud investigations at HM Revenue & Customs, said “We are working closely with our partners in the Netherlands and Austria to tackle suspected tax evasion. The vast majority of taxpayers pay the tax they owe, but where we suspect people aren’t paying what’s due, we will use our full range of powers to ensure that nobody is beyond our reach. People cannot hide money offshore thanks to this international cooperation.”
Dutch prosecutors said the raids, which involved over two dozen British officers, were launched after the couple withdrew more than €300,000 (£256,000) in cash using credit cards linked to offshore accounts. Authorities said they suspected the couple, who own a marketing company just outside of Manchester, committed tax fraud through a complicated net of companies registered overseas.
The arrests were part of a fresh Dutch-led clampdown on international tax evasion after the leak of thousands of suspect accounts at Credit Suisse. The Netherlands’ Fiscal Information and Investigation Services (FIOD) revealed last week that dozens of Dutch taxpayers are under investigation, and suggested that further action can be expected in the weeks to come.
It’s becoming ever more difficult for individuals across the globe to get away with transgressive behaviour and new collaborative approaches to locating and charging tax evaders will soon mean there is nowhere for tax evaders to hide. If you’re at all unsure about your status, or that of the contractors you’re placing in unfamiliar regions, then ensure you partner with a specialist before it’s too late.