It seems that HMRC has thus far only collected around £13.9M from secret bank accounts in the Crown Dependencies.
The Treasury expectations had been much higher, £320M by now, with a long term expectation of around £1BN.
The FT reports that just over 400 people have so far come forward to own up to previously undeclared accounts in the Isle of Man, Jersey and Guernsey. They used a ‘disclosure facility’ that offered reduced penalties to former tax evaders.
Fiona Fernie of Pinsent Masons said that taxpayers with large amounts of unpaid tax were likely to be making use of another tax amnesty, known as the Liechtenstein disclosure facility (LDF), which offered better terms and immunity from prosecution.
The LDF had raised just under £1.1bn from 5819 disclosures by the end of March.
Ms Fernie said another possible explanation of the low yield was that the scale of tax evasion across the Crown Dependencies was not as extensive as many assumed.
“There is likely to be some non-compliance, but more often than not it will be technical in nature — or based on simple mistakes rather than non-legitimate structures.”Maybe not quite so many people aren't quite as dishonest as HMRC and the Treasury had hoped for?
Tax does have to be taxing.
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