From 30 September 2016, advisers must notify clients with offshore investments that HMRC will receive information under the Common Reporting Standard from over 100 other countries about their identity and the investments held.

Subscribers: please click here for your detailed version of this note, together with a proforma letter that you can use to notify your clients. 

At a glance

  • Professional advisers as well as financial institutions have a new obligation to notify their clients that HMRC has received details of their identity and offshore investments.
  • Failure to notify clients in the prescribed form by 31 August 2017, will result in a penalty of up to £3,000.
  • People you need to advise include clients you provide offshore advice or services to and clients you refer to a connected offshore advisor to provide such advice.
  • You have to post or email those clients with HMRC’s leaflet and a specified statement.
  • The regulations requiring this notification apply from 30 September 2016.


Under the Common Reporting Standard, HMRC will receive information from over 100 countries, on bank accounts and financial investments held and the identity of the holder, in order to help tackle tax evasion.

Under the International Tax Compliance Regulations 2015 SI 2015/878, financial institutions and professional advisors will be required to notify certain clients of the information that HMRC will be receiving.

This notification had to be made no later than 31 August 2017 or penalties of up to £3,000 can be issued.

Professional advisors must notify any client that they have:

  • Provided offshore advice or services to, or
  • Referred to a connected person outside the UK for the provision of advice or services relating to the individual’s personal tax affairs.

Offshore advice or services means in respect of a participating jurisdiction, or the US.  The advice must relate to either:

  1. A financial account held in that jurisdiction.
  2. A source of foreign income as defined by s830 ITTOIA 2005 arising in that jurisdiction.
  3. A source of employment income, as defined by s7(2) ITEPA 2003, arising from that jurisdiction.
  4. An asset held or situated in that jurisdiction.

Connected person has the meaning set out in s1122 Corporation Tax Act 2010 (broadly another company under common control).

There may be a requirement to notify UK and non-UK persons.

You did not need to make a notification if:

  • The client is non-UK resident in 2015/16 and 2016/17.
  • You did not expect to provide them with further advice or services after 30 September 2016.
  • You will be completing, or have completed and filed, a Tax Return for that client, disclosing the foreign assets, investments and the effect of the advice you provided.

Subscribers only: Read more.....(to learn about the notification process and access templates).