BKL tax partner David Whiscombe, along with fellow members of the UK200Group, has commented on David Cameron coming under pressure to act against Britain’s offshore industry at June’s G8 summit, as leaked evidence continued to mount that politicians and wealthy individuals from all over the world have used the British Virgin Islands to conceal funds.
“Although we suspect that absolutely no-one will be interested in hearing it, it is nonetheless worth saying that there may be perfectly legitimate reasons for operating a business through a company registered in an overseas jurisdiction such as BVI, which have absolutely nothing at all to do with tax evasion, money laundering, corruption or any of the other nefarious reasons commonly attributed to it.
!Particularly in the context of individuals who are resident or domiciled overseas or carrying on business in whole or in part overseas, offshore structures of one sort or another are a sensible and routine part of the tax planner’s portfolio and no-one who is at all well-informed seriously questions the reasonableness of such planning.
“Of course, offshore secrecy can be and no doubt is often abused: but it is no more fair and reasonable to chastise all users of overseas structures as crooks than it is to vilify everyone who works in banking. We’d be more than happy to be “exposed” as “accountants who benefit from the trade” – neither we nor our clients have anything to hide or anything to be ashamed of.”