Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs should launch a general tax amnesty to offer people from all occupations a chance to come clean if it wants to tackle evasion more effectively.
Sounding the call, accountants said a General Disclosure Mechanism would improve the number of disclosures to HMRC while stopping evasion from being driven underground.
Such a disclosure facility is vital because HMRC’s current UK strategy to combat avoidance and evasion is not working, said the advisers, polled by accountants Crowe Clark Whitehill.
Responding from practices across the UK, 96% of the 120-strong sample said they believed a general tax amnesty should be launched now, compared with around three-quarters last year.
“A general tax amnesty will prompt people to come forward and pay the ‘missing millions’ of tax voluntarily”, said Sean Wakeman, of Crowe Clark Whitehill’s tax investigations unit.
“The introduction of an amnesty would have the unequivocal backing of
the accountancy profession, and would over time reduce instances of tax evasion
in this country.”