Advisers pour scorn on government’s tax threats

“Own up or else”-style threats to tax cheats risk masking a new era of
toughness at
a senior a senior tax adviser has warned.

John Cassidy, tax partner at
PKF, has
suggested that while the game may well be up for many tax evaders, the
politically motivated noises coming from the government risk being ignored.

“I doubt that ‘own up or else’ threats and emotive statements from
politicians are very helpful… there is the danger that some tax evaders will
assume that the authorities are just crying wolf and that if they just sit
tight, nothing will happen,” he said.

Cassidy warned that vast amounts of new intelligence held by the HMRC from
more than 300 banks meant that the game really was “fundamentally up”, as
permanent secretary for tax Dave Hartnett said earlier this week, for those
holding undeclared funds offshore:

“Anyone who has not disclosed all their offshore income should look at their
position rationally: it makes good financial sense to come clean now which, for
the vast majority, means taking advantage of the New Disclosure Opportunity.”

Further reading:

Banks look to fend off HMRC’s
offensive on overseas accounts

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