Government information exchange agreements will have little effect, say readers

THE GOVERNMENT’S various agreements with perceived tax havens will not have any real impact on evasion and avoidance, according to Accountancy Age readers.

Of the 52 readers polled, 62% felt the measures would fail to have any discernable effect on the aggressive tax arrangements of wealthy individuals and corporations, while the remaining 38% felt the moves would impinge on such activities.

The government has struck a string of automatic information exchange deals with a string of overseas territories and crown dependencies including the Cayman Islands, the Isle of Man, Jersey and Guernsey.

On the current timetable, UK residents with assets concealed in the territories will have until September 2016 to disclose details to the taxman and pay any tax owed to the HMRC, as well as a fine between 10% and 20%. While in most cases, the deal will see evaders escape prosecution, HMRC offers no guarantees.

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