The fight against tax havens was worth it

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Back in 2o12 I leaked to the International Tax Review that the UK was finally going to crack down on the absence of tax transparency in its tax havens. The story is here.

Why did I get the leak? Because I had spent years before then working to shatter the secrecy in those tax havens that was used to help tax cheats. This blog was called Tax Research UK back then. for a good reason: that was most of what it was about.

Yesterday the FT reported that:

The number of people who admitted not paying tax on their overseas assets to the UK tax authority jumped by more than a third last year, prompted by warning letters sent by HM Revenue & Customs.

They added:

A freedom of information request revealed that 4,443 people confessed to not paying enough tax on their foreign assets to HM Revenue & Customs in 2021-22. The figures were 35 per cent higher than the 2020-21 year, when 3,301 individuals admitted failing to meet their tax obligations on foreign assets.

As they noted, £56.9 million was raised as a result.

None of that would have been possible in political-economic terms without the work of a very small group of tax justice campaigners back then, of whom I was one.

I am delighted we succeeded because remember that not only was this recovered, but vast amounts were legitimised as a result as well.