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UK’s Liechtenstein tax disclosure to raise three times more than planned

A tax agreement between the UK and Liechtenstein will bring in £3bn of revenue, three times the amount originally expected, according to new HMRC figures.

HMRC says £296m has already been collected and it expects to claim another £67m in cases that have yet to be settled. That accounts for 1399 of 2400 taxpayers who have already put applications into the facility. HMRC says the remaining £2.636bn is expected to come from the remaining 1001 applicants and others who have yet to come forward.

The figures have been released as the UK and Liechtenstein sign a new agreement that would see those with money in the principality who do not  take advantage of the scheme facing a single charge rate of 50 per cent.

The LDF, which started on September 1, 2009, means after full disclosure, a fine of up to 20 per cent of tax due will be levied instead of 100 per cent, with tax interest and penalties only sought for the previous 10 years rather than the previous 20 years. It was originally expected to raise £1bn.

Originally scheduled to end on March 31, 2015, the scheme was extended to April 5, 2016 after 2000 UK taxpayers put applications into the scheme, more than were expected over its lifetime.

Treasury exchequer secretary David Gauke says: ““The Government is determined to clamp down on tax avoidance at home and abroad. The UK has the largest tax treaty network in the world but, until now, Liechtenstein was the only country in the European Economic Area we had no agreement with. This new treaty and the existing disclosure facility show that the net is closing on those who try to evade UK tax by using offshore structures – there are fewer and fewer places to hide.”

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