More tax amnesties on the way?

The chief taxman has fanned the rumour flames, suggesting there may be another tax amnesty.

A number of countries long seen as tax havens are looking at the advantages that come with disclosure regimes. We are talking to them” said Dave Hartnell, Chief Inspector at HMRC.  Switzerland, the country previously regarded as an impenetrable fortress in terms of secret offshore accounts is the most likely target for a deal

This is the first time Hartnett has confirmed that talks with other countries are taking place, and suggests that similar deals to the Liechtenstein Disclosure Facility are in the pipeline.

HMRC has just received an extra £900m to fight tax evasion.  Future amnesties may not have the same generous terms as the Liechtenstein Disclosure Facility. Taxpayers who haven’t used the LDF could face higher penalties than in previous amnesties.  It is not too late for UK taxpayers with Swiss accounts to use the LDF; even if they do not have accounts in Liechtenstein at present.  However, this is a complex area where specialist advice is essential.

Mr Hartnell added:  “Every day HMRC exposes more money hidden offshore.   So burying your head in the sand is becoming a very expensive and risky option.”

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