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The United Kingdom, tax-cleaning Overseas Territories

The United Kingdom, tax-cleaning Overseas Territories

The United Kingdom’s tax authorities investigate the offshore accounts of non-residents in their Overseas Territories and Dependencies upon US request.

Last September the 30th, The British Treasury (HMRC -HER Majesty Revenues & Customs) received information on hundreds of thousands of offshore bank accounts of American citizens and residents from the United States, in compliance with an agreement to exchange information with Washington signed in 2012 .

Besides this initiative, the British Treasury is working on a transparency plan to eradicate tax havens of the British Overseas Territories and British Crown Dependencies.

The Cayman Islands, Jersey, Guernsey, Channel Islands, Bermuda, Gibraltar and British Virgin Islands are among these territories.

The HMRC is pointing out that since 2010 up to 2.400 million pounds have been collected and around 90 individuals have been investigated for tax evasion.

With this transparency plan, the British Treasury is expected to collect up to 300 million pounds from Jersey, Guernsey and Cayman Islands; around 270 million pounds from Isle of Man and Channel Islands and only 40 million pounds from the British Virgin Islands, Bermuda, and Gibraltar.

Data received by the UK’s authorities are correspondent with information about off-shore management accounts, hedge funds, private equity funds, off-shore trusts and insurance policies, among others, despite non-doms’ data collecting, have been strictly limited.

This investigation could last around six months and is framed under a tax avoidance international plan. British tax authority is specifically acting on the United States’ request. In 2010 the United States Congress enacted the FATCA law which is in force since 2013.

This law allows the identification of American citizens and residents abroad owning funds in foreign financial institutions which are required to identify those people’s owned foreign funds and bank deposits.

Besides this, British authorities have recently announced new kinds of measures and fines against tax fraud. These initiatives are still being discussed and they are planning fines up to 30% of the deferred amount.

British’s efforts against fraud are generally framed in the OECD’s BEPS project and, from a European level, with the implementation of the Directive 2016/1164, in which they have already promoted in investigations to American giants like Apple, Google or McDonald’s in Europe.

The fight against tax fraud has become a very important topic for citizens and into a necessity for States. But beyond media chatter and the governments’ pie in the skies, a strong performance is needed by respecting the States’ taxation sovereignity and the taxpayers’ rights.

At Del Canto Chambers we are specialized in tax and trade law and we can be contacted at

Del Canto Chambers’ Editorial Board.

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