Slow start to UK hunt for 'hidden millions'
It is now 13 months since HM Revenue and Customs Guernsey and Jersey disclosure facilities went live, enabling UK taxpayers to resolve long-standing tax affairs and face reduced penalties.
UK Chancellor George Osborne famously claimed in the 2013 Budget that the facility would raise an additional £1bn in tax revenues over the next five years, but local tax advisers were always sceptical about that figure.
Senior inspectors from HMRC admitted that amounts recovered so far were limited.
'The guarded answer is we are perhaps not as busy as we would like to be,' said HMRC inspector Elyot Godfrey, who was in the island to speak at a presentation hosted by Grant Thornton. 'We take that as a view that things are in order.'
He added that HMRC had to rely at this stage on self-declaration from taxpayers or advisers, until automatic exchange of tax information begins at the conclusion of the disclosure facility in 2016.
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