MOST ADVISORS WOULD support a general tax amnesty, which they would communicate with many of their clients.
An online survey of 97 firms by Crowe Clark Whitehill found more than three-quarters favoured the introduction of a general disclosure facility. Some 79% of advisors would mention such an amnesty to at least 20 of their clients.
The three most important features that would need to underpin the amnesty would be guaranteed immunity from prosecution (33%), a low fixed rate penalty (31%) and a time to pay procedure for clients that required it (14%).
Of current amnesties, one in five said they did not understand the Liechtenstein Disclosure Facility. More than 40% have not mentioned the facility to any clients.
Sean Wakeman, partner in the tax investigations group at Crowe Clark Whitehill, said: "This survey indicates that accountants overwhelmingly believe the time is right to introduce a general domestic tax amnesty and are extremely willing to promote such an amnesty to all of their clients in stark contrast to how they have promoted the LDF. This survey also indicates that a Helpline Service should be set up to support the introduction of a GDF."
In 1988, a tax amnesty was introduced which was expected to raise £50m. It actually raised £500m. If the terms of the Amnesty are reasonable (in this case, bring affairs fully up to date and no interest and penalties will apply) the response will exceed expectations.If the declarations are subsequently found to be incomplete, then the terms of the amnesty are rolled back and full penalties then apply.
Posted by: Brendan Meehan, 15 Mar 2012 | 12:02
Why should there be any amnesty for people who have tried to evade tax? It is hardly encouraging for those of us who are compliant and pay their tax.
Posted by: Russell, 15 Mar 2012 | 16:29
What sort of clients do these firms have. Why have they not got their clients following the rules, so that amnesties are not neccessary.
I do not have any clients who need an amnesty.
Posted by: Martin Thomas, 16 Mar 2012 | 08:51
As an ICAEW member I am bombarded with requirements to comply with anti-money laundering, CPD and the duty to disclose details of any clients who I suspect may be engaging in dodgy or not within reasonably reasonable trading relationships - not forgetting the requirement to advise the authorities of these clients and their transactions without infringing the "no tipping off" rules which say that you cannot hint to them that you are suspicious.
Fortunately I haven't had to deal with any people in this category.
But you still have to make sure your AML and other procedures are up to date, or risk disciplinary proceedings
Where is the professional bodies comment on this - do they silently acknowledge that this goes on
Posted by: Simpleton, 16 Mar 2012 | 21:35
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