Certainly from our point of view, only one enquiry has been received at these offices and talking to fellow tax investigation advisers we have found that they also have had very few enquiries.
It is said that up to 10,000 people have made voluntary disclosures giving the Revenue £135 million or thereabouts although I don’t know where this figure has come from quite frankly.
The first amnesty in 2007 was expected to raise £1bn but that in itself turned out to be somewhat of a flop in so far as it only realised about £400,000 million.
If the first amnesty was supposed to have given the Revenue information on the numbers overseas who had tried to hide money away without paying tax or declaring the interest, why on earth haven’t they followed up these enquiries with investigations?
The mere offering of a second amnesty, to my mind, shows the Revenue to be in a weak position quite frankly.
I guess there are people waiting for the third and fourth amnesties, although it is said they won’t be offered that they did say that about the first amnesty.
There again of course, does HMRC have enough staff to handle such enquiries?
I don’t think they do.
I think it is at times like these that HMRC need the trust of the general public.