Convicted tax dodger to pay £830,000

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A property developer, who closed a Swiss bank account in an attempt to avoid detection, has pleaded guilty and been ordered to pay fines and compensation totalling £830,000.

Michael Shanly, chairman of the Shanly Group which he founded in 1969, was ordered to pay a £400,000 penalty and costs, as well as the £430,000 Inheritance Tax (IHT) bill that he previously dodged.

This is the first case to come to court using the data obtained by HMRC on UK citizens with HSBC bank accounts in Geneva. HMRC got hold of the offshore bank account data through a tax exchange agreement with France in April 2010.

In recent years HMRC has offered many disclosure opportunities. Two of these - the offshore disclosure facility and new disclosure opportunity in 2008 and 2010 - offered those with money offshore to come forward and together raised £500m.

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About Robert Lovell

Business and finance journalist


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    11th Jul 2012 09:52

    PKF: First blood for Offshore unit will raise profile of LDF


    This prosecution is another argument in favour of the more lenient Liechtenstein tax disclosure facility for British taxpayers with money hidden offshore, according to PKF tax investigation partner John Cassidy:

    “This is the first court victory for HMRC’s Offshore Co-ordination Unit and it is unlikely to be the last. The prosecution sends out a strong message to anyone with hidden assets in offshore accounts: HMRC will do all it can to catch you if your tax affairs aren’t in order - whether through deliberate deception or through ignorance of your tax obligations – and you should come clean using an amnesty like the Lichtenstein Disclosure Facility before you get the knock on the door.”

    Thanks (0)
    16th Jul 2012 12:39

    Why was n't he jailed?

    The  woman providing the escort service was jailed.

    Why was n't this man?

    Friends in high places possibly cutting a deal...

    Funny that...


    Thanks (1)
    By chatman
    16th Jul 2012 14:48

    Same rules for rich and poor?

    So Rosamund Horwood-Smart QC says: “In this court there are no rules just for the rich and no rules just for the poor... the tax system relies on voluntary and honest disclosure of tax affairs and it applies to all equally” and then fines him what is presumably a very small proportion of his disposable wealth.

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