Most Accountants Support a General Tax Amnesty
Over three-quarters of accountants are in favour of a general amnesty for tax-dodgers, according to a survey carried out by Crowe Clark Whitehill.
The firm polled accountants from 97 UK firms on the Liechtenstein Disclosure Facility (LDF), UK/Swiss tax agreements but found that the majority would support a General Disclosure Facility (GDF), with 79% stating they would refer a general tax amnesty to 20 or more of their clients.
Guaranteed immunity from prosecution scored highest (33%) as the most important feature to a GDF, with low fixed-rate penalty just behind with 31%.
In stark contrast to the popularity of a GDF, the survey revealed that 40% had not even mentioned the LDF to a single client, despite it being introduced by HMRC in 2009.
Sean Wakeman, tax investigations partner at Crowe Clark Whitehill, said: ‘This survey indicates that accountants overwhelmingly believe the time is right to introduce a general domestic tax amnesty and are extremely willing to promote such an amnesty to all of their clients in stark contrast to how they have promoted the LDF.
‘A general tax amnesty, if sold correctly to the public, could raise millions if not billions of pounds in tax revenue. According to HMRC, some £14.5bn of direct taxes – income tax, national insurance and capital gains tax – was not collected in 2009-2010 and a general amnesty would go some way in redressing this imbalance.’