More on catching the tax dodgers

It was announced last month that HMRC’s New Disclosure Opportunity deadline for those with undeclared offshore assets to come clean has been extended from 30th November 2009 to 4th January 2010. This is no doubt because rather fewer delinquent “customers” have come forward than Permanent Secretary for Tax Dave Hartnett hoped, despite the prospect of much more serious penalties for those who are caught or come forward later.

HMRC has also revamped its process for receiving anonymous tip-offs concerning tax evaders, details of which are here. To be truly anonymous, one would suppose that many would baulk at filling in an on-line form, given that web masters can generally see the IP address of whoever logs in to a web page; that is if they really want to. Similar identification issues would deter people from sending faxes.

I have a vision of the other choices:

1.Telephoning the 0800 number, remembering to withhold the caller’s number, and then speaking in a hoarse whisper to drop the malefactor in it.
2.Sending an anonymous missive either with letters cut out of newspapers and stuck on to another sheet of paper, or longhand notes in purple or green ink, signed “Well-wisher” or “Bystander”.

The mind boggles, or at least mine does, but that may be the effect of Christmas being nearly upon us and my having done far too many Tax Returns for my own good.

© Jon Stow 2009

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