TaxCorporate Tax4,000 sign up to offshore tax disclosure scheme

4,000 sign up to offshore tax disclosure scheme

Just over 4,000 people have made offshore tax disclosures under the government’s 'amnesty' scheme

There had been 4,300 disclosures by the end of last week,
HM Revenue & Customs
director general Dave Hartnett said, a figure first revealed on
AccountancyAge.com last week.

‘We have got 400,000 account details from the notices we served on banks,
around 35,000 people have so far asked for the [offshore disclosure] packs, and
4,300 have made disclosures,’ he said.

The numbers confirm suggestions that the initial response to the disclosure
plan has not been overwhelming.

The largest disclosure so far has been ‘more than half a million pounds,’ he
said, saying that disclosures were coming from all kinds of people: ‘We are
seeing an incredible range, from brokers, retired professional people, retired
company directors and even a landlady.’

There are thought to be bigger disclosures in the pipeline, while some of the
smaller disclosures have been as little as £1,500.

The scheme was prompted by a series of demands to banks that they reveal
details of offshore bank accounts they hold.

Special commissioners’ cases relating to those orders imply that there could
be billions at stake, though HMRC has since downgraded that estimate.

The tax department is keen to publicise the offshore regime in the next few
weeks, in an attempt to force more reluctant taxpayers to confess any tax they
may have evaded.

‘We are [trying to communicate with] people burying their heads in the sand,’
Hartnett said.

There is expected to be a heavy compliance push after the scheme closes, with
those who haven’t disclosed pursued. Higher penalties and prosecutions are
likely to result.

Hartnett said HMRC was seeing some onshore disclosures as part of the scheme,
which is not exclusive to offshore evasion.

The scheme is not an amnesty, he said. ‘Amnesties ask for less [than the tax
owed].’

Related Articles

Big names, little tax: Airbnb, Facebook, Kellogg’s, eBay

Corporate Tax Big names, little tax: Airbnb, Facebook, Kellogg’s, eBay

2m Alia Shoaib, Reporter
New trading allowance: simplicity, but not as we know it

Administration New trading allowance: simplicity, but not as we know it

2m Emma Rawson, ATT Technical Officer
EU divided over radical tax reforms targeting tech giants

Corporate Tax EU divided over radical tax reforms targeting tech giants

2m Alia Shoaib, Reporter
‘Improve rather than lose’ disincorporation relief, tax body urges

Administration ‘Improve rather than lose’ disincorporation relief, tax body urges

2m Austin Clark, Reporter
How to educate your clients about tax avoidance

Corporate Tax How to educate your clients about tax avoidance

2m Clear Books | Sponsored
CGT clampdown nets HMRC £124m – but could lead to increase in use of avoidance schemes

Corporate Tax CGT clampdown nets HMRC £124m – but could lead to increase in use of avoidance schemes

3m Austin Clark, Reporter
‘Google tax’ nets HMRC £281m

Corporate Tax ‘Google tax’ nets HMRC £281m

3m Emma Smith, Managing Editor
Should I incorporate my buy-to-let business?

Corporate Tax Should I incorporate my buy-to-let business?

4m Emma Rawson