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HMRC internal manual

International Manual

From
HM Revenue & Customs
Updated
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Transfer of assets abroad: checklist of indicators

These provisions are intended to be wide ranging and will “catch” many offshore avoidance arrangements. In their simplest form, cases vulnerable to challenge under transfer of assets legislation may involve only a single overseas company, trust or partnership. However, usually the arrangements will be more complex, using a series of interconnected companies, or other foreign legal entities such as stiftungs and anstalts, perhaps linked with a non-resident trust or partnership.

You may identify arrangements indicative of possible liability in the course of examining company accounts, or when investigating the tax affairs of individuals. The following list suggests areas where a more detailed examination of potential risk is required. See INTM600050 regarding referrals to SPT Charities, Savings and International (Risk) Bootle where you think the legislation may apply.

  • Shares or loan capital of a UK company are owned by, sold or transferred to a foreign company, trust or other entity.
  • An individual sets up or reveals a connection with, or interest in, a foreign private company, offshore trust or other entity (includes overseas entities such as anstalts, stiftungs, establishments, etc).
  • Assets are sold or otherwise transferred offshore (including cash subscribed for shares or settlement of money in a trust).
  • Sale of “family” business involving any offshore entity, particularly if family connections remain, e.g. an individual continues as a director after disposing of shares to an offshore entity.
  • An individual’s services are provided to or by a UK company via a foreign service company or other foreign intermediary.
  • UK income sources or trading expenses (including rents and interest) are being paid offshore.
  • An individual makes loans or receives loans from an offshore entity or benefits in some way from assets held offshore e.g. occupation of property owned by an offshore company or trust.
  • An individual, company or trust has otherwise acquired or transferred assets abroad, from which no income or low income is returned (return may show cessation of sources of income previously received, now paid offshore)
  • Known or suspected links with tax haven countries e.g. Channel Islands, Isle of Man, Bahamas, Barbados, Bermuda, British Virgin Isles, Cayman Islands, Cyprus, Gibraltar, Liechtenstein, Liberia, Netherlands Antilles, Panama, Vanuatu,
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