Offshore evaders' deals highlight 'name and shame' possibilities

by Calum Fuller

More from this author

05 Nov 2012

  • Comments
HM Revenue and Customs

THE TAXMAN'S quest to stop tax dodgers will take another step forward when it begins implement its 'name and shame tax dodgers' power on those who have deliberately defaulted to the tune of £25,000 or more.

It is not difficult to see the deterrent effect such a measure could conceivably have; one would be hard-pressed to find anyone who would happily be named publicly as a tax dodger.

And yet, there are ways that fate can be averted, excellently illustrated by the recent news the taxman reached settlements with evaders on the list of 6,000 HSBC Swiss account-holders given to HMRC by the French authorities.

Instead of the taxman circulating the names of those offshore evaders to the press, it offered immunity in exchange for full disclosure, settling their tax bills and the payment of a penalty of as much as 200% of the tax owed.

Perhaps a 'naming and shaming' policy of sorts is already proving to be an effective system, in that a court appearance would be – by definition – in the public eye. Many evaders have kept their anonymity, while the taxman has clawed back hundreds of millions to the public purse. Some might question whether a clawback, although costly, is sufficient recompense for their activities.

Only one of those 6,000 names has found its way into the press after property millionaire Michael Shanly was convicted and ordered to pay back £430,000 in tax and fined an extra £400,000 after he passed up two opportunities to declare his offshore account.

Whether the scheme will be applied lower down the chain is yet to be seen, but whatever the issues about tax-evading offshore account holders avoiding a court appearance – the mechanics of the initiative appear well oiled.

Calum Fuller is the tax correspondent for Accountancy Age and Financial Director.

Visitor comments

blog comments powered by Disqus
display:none

Add your comment

We won't publish your address


By submitting a comment you agree to abide by our Terms & Conditions

Your comment will be moderated before publication

Submit
  • Send

Financial Planning and Performance AnalystCabinet Office-Greater London-Competitive

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

Newsletters

Get the latest financial news sent directly to your inbox

  • Best Practice
  • Business
  • Daily Newsletter
  • Essentials

Careers

Search for jobs
Click to search our database of all the latest accountancy roles

Create a profile
Click to set up your profile and let the best recruiters find you

Jobs by email
Sign up to receive regular updates with the latest roles suitable for you

Briefings

budget-management

Why budgeting fails: One management system is not enough

If budgeting is to have any value at all, it needs a radical overhaul. In today's dynamic marketplace, budgeting can no longer serve as a company's only management system; it must integrate with and support dedicated strategy management systems, process improvement systems, and the like. In this paper, Professor Peter Horvath and Dr Ralf Sauter present what's wrong with the current approach to budgeting and how to fix it.

cchcover

iXBRL: Taking stock. Looking forward

In this white paper CCH provide checklists to help accountants and finance professionals both in practice and in business examine these issues and make plans. Also includes a case study of a large commercial organisation working through the first year of mandatory iXBRL filing.