Last week, a tax tribunal heard how Gulliver is being investigated by HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) over whether he can claim to be non-UK domiciled.
The tax status allows him to avoid paying tax on foreign earnings.
Gulliver failed in an attempt to stop the UK tax authorities from investigating how he has kept a tax domicile in Hong Kong since 1999, despite working in Britain for the past 13 years.
Last year, the tax office sent the HSBC boss 123 questions to answer as well as “33 categories of document” to gather whether he is ‘domiciled’ in Hong Kong as he claims.
"This is a well-known technique to provoke HMRC to make a determination of domicile."
Gulliver has been resident in the UK for the last 13 years, but has had an international business career with stints in Asia.
In 2002, Gulliver had set up a trust for his family with £273,677 ($339,173, €315,762) – an amount which exceeded the tax-free threshold at the time, according to correspondence shown as evidence during last week’s tax tribunal.
Speaking to International Adviser, Mark Davies, who runs specialist tax advice agency Mark Davies & Associates, said: “This is a well-known technique to provoke HMRC to make a determination of domicile.
“Historically you could ask for a determination but this practice changed, leaving advisers to resort to other methods to test the position.
“You set up a trust with slightly more than the nil-rate band.
“If you are UK domiciled you have to pay tax. If you aren’t, you don’t. You only do it when you are not sure.
“HMRC looked into it and concluded that tax wasn’t payable, so in effect they agreed that he wasn’t UK domiciled.”
Swiss bank account
Another embarrassing revelation for Gulliver was that he had opened an account with HSBC’s Swiss private bank through which he set up a company in Panama, a well-known tax haven. That account held a balance of $7.6m at the end of 2007.
Gulliver defended the account, arguing he had broken no laws and the Swiss private bank account was used so that his bonus payments be kept private from his Asian-based colleagues.