Research into UK Taxpayers’ use of offshore specialists

NatCen Social Research (NatCen) have been asked by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) to carry out this research.

About the study

The National Centre for Social Research (NatCen) have been asked by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) to carry out research to better understand the relationship between taxpayers and offshore specialists, especially in relation to offshore services. The research will explore customers’ motivations for, and experience of, using such offshore agents and specialists.

Who is carrying out the research?

NatCen are an independent, not-for-profit, social research organisation that has been carrying out high quality social research for over 50 years. We are commissioned by government and charities to uncover the real views of people in Britain today. What we find out is used to inform policy and make a difference to the lives of people across the nation. You can find out more about us here.

Why take part? 

We would like to speak to a variety of taxpayers who have made use of offshore specialists. By taking part, you will have the opportunity to share your experiences of these services while remaining anonymous. Even if your tax affairs are largely managed by a financial adviser or agent on your behalf, we are still interested in hearing about your experiences. Findings from the research will inform HMRC’s policy-making in relation to offshore services.

What would taking part involve?

The research will involve taking part in a telephone interview with a researcher from NatCen Social Research, an independent, non-profit organisation. The interview will take the form of a discussion and will last up to one hour. It will take place at a date and time that is convenient for you, between January and March 2023.

At the start of the interview, we will ask your permission to audio record the discussion, so we have an accurate record of what was said.

What will you ask me about?

There are no right or wrong answers. We are just interested in hearing your thoughts and experiences. During the interview we would discuss how you first came into contact with offshore advice services, factors that influenced your decision to engage with these services, and your experiences of the service provided.

We will treat any information you provide as confidential and it will only be used for research purposes. NatCen will not inform any third party, including HMRC, that you have taken part or what you have said.  We will write a report summarising the key findings, but this will not include any information that could identify you. There will also be no implications following any information disclosed related to previous tax practices, nor would you face any repercussions should you decide to withdraw from the study.

For further information about how we will use your data, please see our privacy notice.

Do I have to take part?

Your views are very important, but taking part is completely voluntary. If you decide to take part, you don’t have to talk about anything you don’t want to, and you can end the interview at any time, without providing a reason.

If you take part in an interview, we will donate a gift of £40 to one of the following charities, as a token of appreciation for your time:

  • Save the Children: charity working in the UK and internationally to make sure children keep safe, health and learning
  • Centrepoint: charity providing homeless young people with accommodation, health support and life skills to get back into education, training and employment
  • Alzheimer’s Society: charity providing expert advice, guidance and support to people living with dementia

Why have I been selected to take part?

You have been contacted about the research because HMRC’s records indicate that you may have used the type of services of interest to this study. You will have received a letter from HMRC informing you about the research with details on how to opt out, should you wish to do so.

If you do not contact HMRC by the date given in the letter, your details will be securely transferred to NatCen and you may receive a phone call from us to ask if you are willing to take part in an interview. 

What will happen to any information I give you?

The findings from the research will be published in a report on GOV.UK and will not include any names or identifiable information.

All information will be anonymised before being analysed, and personal data will only be accessible to the research team. At the end of the research, your personal information will be securely deleted. After the interview, we would ask your permission to share your transcript with HMRC. Any details that could identify you in any way would be removed from the transcript before it is shared.

You can find out more about how we will use your data in our privacy notice.  

Contact details

For any other queries related to the research, you can contact the NatCen research team by emailing A member of our team will respond to your query as soon as possible.