Offshore accounts: Liechtenstein unpaid tax could net £1bn
by Gill Montia
Chancellor of the Exchequer Alistair Darling says he expects to rake in £1 billion in unpaid taxes following a deal with authorities in Liechtenstein, where up to 5,000 UK investors are believed to be holding secret accounts.
The good news for those affected is that under an HM Revenue & Customs amnesty, investors can get away with paying a penalty capped at 10% of any tax evaded, plus the tax owed and interest on the debt.
A recently launched “Disclosure Opportunity” allows tax evaders to settle under these terms if they come forward between September 2009 and March of 2010.
However, those who continue to evade tax face penalties of up to 100% of the amount owed and are also under threat of prosecution.
According to reports, Mr Darling will be demanding tough action on offshore accounts from his peers at the G20 summit of finance ministers, to be held this weekend, with the prospect of even more money being recovered to shore up Britain’s battered finances.
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