The Tax Amnesty – Last Day

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It's the day when you tell the Revenue you owe tax under their 'amnesty', or face the consequences. As the BBC has noted, early this week just 25,000 of the 400,000 suspected cases had confessed.

Now at least 30% of those 400,000 cases will not give rise to liability. I say that because 30% of all people holding accounts in Jersey opted into the EU Savings Directive when they had the chance to do so. That many of the accounts are legitimate, therefore.

That leaves 280,000 or so accounts to investigate. There will be a threshold below which it is not worth investigating. If the accounts are too small I am sure HMRC will ignore them. That will reduce the workload by 75%, I suspect. So, let's call it about 70,000 accounts to investigate.

On these I seriously hope the Revenue will now be pushing out protective tax assessments, in substantial amounts, and fast. The opening claim should be £100,000 in each case, as a minimum. Of course this may be excessive, but it's the Revenues job to protect the country from fraud so it has to overstate it's case initially. And yes this will really frighten people. And so it should. They've had time to talk. Now it's time they were made to act.

But then I think they should be allowed the option of a fast track response. This would be like the amnesty - but the penalty should now be 30%. This would save a lot of time. And the hassle of sending the bailiffs round.