The Government is engaged in a major exercise designed to flush out undisclosed offshore bank accounts, accountants and business advisers PKF (UK) has warned.
Simon Littlejohns, tax partner at PKF in Birmingham, said: "Many people with offshore bank accounts will shortly be receiving letters from the Cross-Cutting policy unit of HMRC (Her Majesty's Revenue & Customs).
"Authorised professional advisers such as accountants should also receive copies of what has been described as an exercise designed to find the most effective way of flushing out undisclosed offshore funds.
"We do not know exactly how the recipients of the letters have been selected beyond the fact that the exercise is aimed at the holders of offshore accounts and based on information which HMRC have in their possession.
"One letter which PKF has seen begins by saying that HMRC have information that the recipient has operated a bank account outside the UK, and that: 'whilst the existence of an offshore account does not necessarily point to anything being wrong, experience has shown that such accounts are often associated with tax evasion'."
Mr Littlejohns added: "We accept that there are those who keep their money offshore in order to take it out of the UK tax net - or any tax net - and that HMRC have a duty to counter fraud and tax evasion of this sort.
"Also that HMRC need to be efficient and costeffective in how they set about this. However there are plenty of people who have no intention of avoiding their tax obligations but who are under the impression that overseas income is not taxed in the UK. This myth is widely believed."