HMRC are gradually releasing more details of how the 2009 Tax Amnesty – the New Disclosure Opportunity will work in practice. The NDO will enable taxpayers to disclose previously undeclared income and capital gains to HMRC, as long as one of the sources is an offshore bank account or offshore asset.
The New Disclosure Opportunity will run from the autumn 2009 until March 2010. It will give offshore bank account holders one final disclosure opportunity to put their UK tax affairs in order. Anyone wishing to take advantage of this Tax Amnesty will first have to register with HMRC – known as a notification of intention to disclose. Notifications from individuals of their intention to use the NDO have to be made by the following deadlines: hard copy form from 1 September or via the web from 1 October 2009. The notification window will close on 31 October 2009. The deadlines for submitting the final full disclosures will be 31 January 2010 for hard copies or 12 March 2010 online.
Where a taxpayer’s offshore bank account was not with one of the 5 “High Street” banks (RBS, HBOS, Barclays, HSBC, Lloyds) which triggered the first Tax Amnesty (The Offshore Disclosure Facility) then a full voluntary disclosure under The New Disclosure Opportunity will secure a reduced penalty of 10% of the under declared tax. Anyone holding an account with one of those 5 banks however will face a 20% penalty – for full voluntary disclosures).
HMRC is currently trying to get details of offshore bank accounts and assets from hundreds of financial institutions.
The tax man says he will aim to make the NDO process as simple and straightforward as possible; although accepting that offshore structures can be very complex on occasions. The Revenue is also warning that there will not be another tax amnesty. Anyone who does not step up for a drink at the last chance saloon is likely to be subject to an in-depth tax investigation and could face significantly higher penalties (over 50%, plus naming and shaming) or even risk criminal prosecution.
The tax men say they have well developed plans to: risk assess all information received; identify all offshore account holders tax resident in the UK who don’t disclose through the NDO; and to “relentlessly pursue” all defaulters.
If you are concerned about an offshore bank account or offshore assets, or have any historic tax liabilities that are worrying you, or think the New Disclosure Opportunity may benefit you: then Lynam Tax Enquiry Experts can help. Call today for a confidential, discreet discussion with our experienced Tax Dispute Specialists.
Call Paul Lynam now on 0845 643 9997