419 taxpayers have registered for the Liechtenstein Disclosure Facility out
of the “thousands” eligible to do so, law firm McGrigors said today.
The low response rate to the LDF, which runs until 2015, comes after it
emerged just 1,500 medical professionals had registered for a special tax
amnesty out of the 30,000 believed to have undisclosed tax liabilities.
It had been hoped that the more favourable terms of the LDF amnesty,
including only having to come clean about undeclared tax liabilities in offshore
accounts going back ten years – compared to 20 years in the New Disclosure
Opportunity – would act as a draw.
However, the law firm said HMRC figures showed just 419 taxpayers have
registered for the LDF between 1 September 2009 and 31 March 2010. This compares
to approximately 10,000 who registered for the NDO.
Phil Berwick, director of tax investigations at McGrigors, said: “It is
surprising how few taxpayers have registered for the LDF. Many more probably
would have done so, but were unaware that they qualified, or even that the LDF
“Many taxpayers could have reduced their tax, interest and penalty bill by a
significant amount by using the LDF. Overall, we could be talking about millions
of pounds here.”
The taxman remained optimistic despite the relatively low numbers. “HMRC is
very pleased with the number of people who have so far voluntarily registered
for LDF, and that the number doing so is steadily increasing.
“Unlike other short term disclosure opportunities, registration for LDF is
available until 2015,” he added.
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