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Ask the Expert: It doesn’t look like my dad has paid tax on his offshore trust – what should I do?

PUBLISHED: 06:00 08 September 2018 | UPDATED: 08:52 08 September 2018

Carl Lamb, managing director of Almary Green

Carl Lamb, managing director of Almary Green

Archant

Our reader has some queries over offshore dealings in his father’s trust, and wants to know how to make corrections. Carl Lamb of Almary Green explains.

I’ve just taken over as power of attorney for my dad, who has advanced dementia.

I’ve been sorting through his paperwork and have found some documents relating to an offshore trust which he was sold in 2005 by a financial adviser who is no longer trading.

I’m concerned as he seems to have bought and sold assets within the trust but I can find no evidence of him declaring the gains he made or paying any tax on them.

Would it have been subject to tax?

Response from Carl Lamb of Almary Green:

This question is very timely as HM Revenue & Customs are setting their sights on undeclared income and gains from offshore investments.

They have set a deadline for taxpayers to notify them of any potential issues with undeclared offshore tax liabilities on or before September 30 2018.

This obligation is set out under their “Requirement to Correct” rules: you can find out more on the government website at https://www.gov.uk/guidance/requirement-to-correct-tax-due-on-offshore-assets.

If you are unsure about whether or not a disclosure is needed, I recommend that you get professional advice from a tax expert – either your accountant or a financial adviser with expertise in that area.

I can’t say without looking at the detail of the trust if there will be any tax due but I do think that you should get advice on this in good time before the deadline – there are pretty substantial penalties involved if the correct disclosure hasn’t been made by then.

Do you have a question for our expert? Email mark.shields@archant.co.uk with the subject heading clearly marked ‘Ask the Expert’, or write to Ask the Expert, Business desk, Prospect House, Rouen Road, Norwich NR1 1RE.

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