HMRC gets access to offshore funds

HM REVENUE and Customs (HMRC) will be able to access the offshore accounts of UK citizens with accounts at more than 300 banks, after it secured &ldquo;production orders&rdquo; forcing lenders to disclose the information.<br /><br />HMRC continued its campaign against tax evasion with the orders, which will also see the 308 affected banks required to pass on details of any payments or transfers into offshore accounts that they handle.<br /><br />The move comes hot on the heels of an information exchange agreement signed with Liechtenstein this week, which will see UK citizens ordered to disclose details of income hidden in accounts in the tax haven.<br /><br />The names of the affected banks were not released, but they are believed to include several UK financial institutions that operate branches in Switzerland.<br /><br />Paul Harrison, tax partner at accountancy firm KPMG, said: &ldquo;Those whose tax affairs are in order should have nothing to worry about, but there could be the risk of misdirected investigations of the innocent.&rdquo;