Online accountants are probably aware that when HMRC first launched the Liechtenstein Disclosure Facility in September 2009, it expected to yield a total of £1 billion by 2015. However, £140 million has already been gathered in and the Revenue has now revised its forecast to £3 billion.
475 registrations were received between September last year and the 31st of March this year, bringing the total number to 1,351.
A tax investigations director, Phil Berwick, from McGrigors, said there has been a fairly consistent increase in the number of registrations. It’s hard to analyse the breakdown of the £140 million without knowing how many applications have been accepted by HMRC. But it does look as if the Revenue is unlikely to realise the £3 billion it expect.
There is currently a great deal of uncertainty surrounding a possible tax evasion deal with the Swiss government and this is preventing people from coming forward. Once the Swiss deal is announced, it is hoped that people who have been sitting back will feel they have the necessary incentive to come forward.
Frank Strachan, the head of tax at law firm Lass Salt Garvin, said the LDF was producing steady figures but not stellar results. The Revenue clearly has a way to go before it meets its own target and it will be interesting to see if there is a rise in the amount of people who sign up by this September. He also agreed with Berwick’s view that clients are waiting to see the Swiss deal develop before committing themselves.