The threat of U.S. prosecution looms over HSBC Holdings PLC like the sword of Damocles after a groundbreaking report revealed that it helped clients hide cash from various tax authorities. These reports cast HSBC, HSBC’s Holding’s parent bank, in an unsavory light and is the latest round of negative publicity to besmirch the British bank’s reputation. As such, it sent shockwaves through the foundation of HSBC.

The basis for these reports are documents provided by Herve Falciani, a former employee of HSBC.

These documents reveal how mid-level HSBC bankers assisted European clients do an end-run around a European Union tax on bank deposits. Specifically, the clients were Read More

TaxConnections Picture - Tax MagnificationWhen the brown envelope from HMRC lands on the doormat, most people don’t need to read the letter in great detail to know that there are difficult times ahead; guilty or innocent HMRC are going to give you a hard time. Here are some tips on how to deal with a tax investigation.

Whilst we talk about a Tax Investigation HMRC use soft words instead such as enquiry, review or check. Regardless of the language they all mean you are being investigated by HMRC.

So what are the key things to do (or not to do).

Don’t Panic

For many here will be an initial knee jerk reaction such as fear, denial and anger or a desire to have a chat with the Inspector to show you are a good person and willing to help or to assure HMRC there is nothing wrong.

This is a time for cool heads, planning and contemplation as to what could be the problems and taking stock of the situation. Do not do anything rash and:

Take Expert Advice

Your fist discussion may be with your accountant. Some are good at tax investigation work, many are not specialists. Engaging a specialist can make all the difference in time taken to deal with the issues and the eventual outcome. You must have an open and honest conversation about what may or may not have gone on and sometimes this is difficult with existing advisors. Read More