Tax Transparency – Would you publicly disclose your tax return?

Following the recent panama leaks, the issue of tax transparency has dominated the news and prompted a wider debate around privacy and confidentially. David Cameron and a number of other high profile politicians have taken the unprecedented step of publishing their tax returns, however, is this a step too far?

In a recent Gabelle survey we polled a mix of individuals and businesses to gauge their views on whether people’s tax returns should be made public – the results (overall) were fairly conclusive:

  • 74% of respondents believed that politicians, senior civil servants and others in similar positions of power should not have to disclose their tax return information;
  • An overwhelming 94% felt that individual’s tax return should not be made public;
  • 88% of respondents would not be happy to disclose their own tax return information;
  • The view was slightly more balanced on the corporate side, with 66% of respondents stating that company’s tax returns should not be made public.

Paula Tallon, Managing Partner comments, “It is clear that most people value their right to privacy and to keep their tax affairs confidential. Making tax returns public is likely to cause more problems than it would solve. The focus needs to continue on deterrents such as increased penalties for evasion.”