It’s something that has been a bug-bear of mine for quite a while, probably back to the incident I mention in the article.
Why it’s taken so long for it to be introduced here is beyond me. And it’s not even a reality yet. I suspect the oil lobby may have something to do with it, as the bag industry must be a good money spinner for them.
It’s easy enough to put in place, and it would, at a stroke, wipe out all the plastic rubbish blowing around our streets. It’s worked in Ireland, so why not do it here.
As usual I set off for the office last Sunday morning to pinch a couple of hour’s quiet time. Upon arrival I was met by 7 – 8 cars all belonging to TWD staff who were already hard at work at the their desks.
The 31 January filing deadline certainly concentrates the mind and the last two weeks have resulted in a huge number of new enquires. Until the end of October we were still able to offer our standard service to all new applicants without any additional charge to guarantee filing by the due date. With the deadline getting closer all November applicants have the choice of paying an additional fee to guarantee submission. Of course, in all cases we must have our client’s cooperation by submitting their paperwork as requested.
Tonight is bonfire night, so don’t expect me to be here late as I’m doing the fireworks for my two little grandchildren, (Jake 3 and Daniel 3 months) – I can’t wait, I’m the child really.
Fraudsters have been using fear of the tax office to target ordinary taxpayers. They claim to be the taxman, stating that money is waiting to be claimed, then take personal details. This is simply identity theft.
The criminals doing this are playing on people’s lack of knowledge about the tax system in a particularly cruel way. It is something we deal with very seriously, and we will take any action we can to help combat it.
The person in charge of the Revenue, Dave Hartnett - officially the permanent secretary for tax - has posted a YouTube video with a dire warning to people who have undeclared tax.
This is part of a big push by the Revenue to get people interested in the current offshore disclosure window. Basically, if you have an offshore bank account and have not declared income from it, you have until 30 November to tell the tax man.
If you do, you may escape penalties or have them reduced. If you don’t you could end up with fines up to 100% of the tax owed. Or you could go to jail. The video attempts to put this point over in a clear concise way.
Admittedly the video is a bit dry, but it’s also quite hard hitting. Hartnett doesn’t mince his words – if you don’t use the amnesty, and you are later found to have undeclared income, you will be fined or go to jail.
We say it is important for HMRC to engage with people. They face a huge barrier when educating the public about tax matters, so any avenue they can take should be explored.
For more information on the tax amnesty and what to do if you think it affects you, go to our offshore tax disclosure section.