HMRC are sending now sending thousands of letters to UK taxpayers – warning this is the “final opportunity to bring your worldwide tax affairs up to date”: before they launch their own investigations.
Across the country tens of thousands of individuals are now receiving warning letters from the taxman. HM Revenue & Customs explains that they “are starting to receive new information about offshore accounts, trusts and investments from over 100 jurisdictions around the world”. They warn that they “are getting tougher on those individuals not paying the right amount of tax on their offshore money and assets”.
HMRC urge people to check if they owe any tax. There is a simple form to fill in: with HMRC encouraging people to register for the Worldwide Disclosure Facility.
Taxman warns that if you “owe tax but do not come forward to use Worldwide Disclosure Facility then they may: charge higher penalties; start civil or criminal investigations; publish your name and address as a deliberate tax defaulter”.
What does this mean for me?
HMRC have almost certainly been sent details from an offshore bank, financial institution, or trust provider. If you have received one of these letters then you need to respond one way or the other: even if you think you have no tax to pay. If you do not respond you will be subject to an in-depth tax investigation: possibly on criminal lines. If you do have any offshore investments (directly or indirectly) then consider taking specialist advice. As HMRC warn: “Offshore funds and investments can be complex. Laws and personal circumstances change, meaning previous advice can be out of date.”
The WDF can be a great way to regularise your tax affairs. But the issues can be complex and it can take time to get all of the relevant information you will need from the offshore institutions. Once you have registered you only have 90 days to complete your disclosure and pay up: although this can be extended to 180 days in particularly complex cases. We recommend that you do not register until you have taken specialist advice: which you should now obtain without any delay.
How can Lynam Tax Offshore Disclosure Experts help me?
Lynam Tax experts have enormous experience of dealing with all of the various HMRC Offshore Disclosure Facilities: including the current Worldwide Disclosure Facility. The issues can be complex, and the risks are high. If you have offshore assets, or you received a letter from HMRC, you need specialist support. And you need it now. Don’t delay!
Call today for a free initial consultation:
Paul Lynam: 0845 643 9997
Andrew Nutbrown: 0771 877 8710