As some will have noticed, I have been critical of George Osborne’s plans for new tax penalties over the weekend.
OK, so what has Gideon proposed? Essentially, that the current law be changed from one where they have to prove intent to dodge tax by not declaring an account to a strict liability offence. You didn’t declare an account to you’re guilty matey.
This is the proposal that Ritchie has been arguing against. What’s his proposal?
Let me offer an obvious solution. I would require that a tax return should demand that a tax payer disclosed all their bank accounts. This is, if course, just about the first information always demanded in a tax investigation so it is important. Most of us don’t have many. And it’s not hard to list them all. Then it becomes a relatively simple matter to prosecute someone for failing to disclose a bank account if that is appropriate. No intent need be proven: it’s error that could trigger the penalty.
That Gideon should change the law to what Gideon has just said he wants to change the law to.