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The recent revelations of offshore accounts held in Panama have been making headlines for understandable reasons, and our Manchester accountants are available to advise you on the legality of any holdings you might have.

Reports have emerged throughout the past week about the 11 million files leaked from Panama, detailing accountholders and the level of interests they have there.

High-profile individuals in the UK and abroad have come under fire for their participation – especially politicians, who have been accused of tax-dodging at a time when many national economies are in a state of austerity.

It is not yet clear the extent of any wrongdoing, or how many of the accounts were held completely in line with international finance laws.

But it is worth remembering that tax avoidance is perfectly legal, and simply means minimising the amount you pay through legitimate methods; only tax evasion is strictly illegal.

The reports are likely to have left many people concerned about any tax-minimising structures they use, both domestically and internationally, and our Manchester accountants can help you to decide what to do next.

Offshore accounts are not fundamentally illegal; they have been used for generations as a way to move savings to a lower or zero-rate tax band, and will continue to be used in this way for a long time to come.

If you would rather bring your funds back to the UK, there are domestic options that can also help to minimise your tax bill, and the zero-rate savings allowance available through accounts like ISAs has been on the increase in recent years too.

To find out more about tax-efficient savings structures in the UK and overseas, or to speak to one of our Manchester accountants about any concerns you might have about your own tax exposure, contact us today.