HMRC have issued a press release urging people with undisclosed offshore assets and undeclared income and gains to jump on board the Tax Amnesty lifeboat, come onshore and come clean before the deadline for registration expires on 4th January.
The taxman’s christmas warning said:
Taxpayers with undisclosed offshore investments have just one more week to come forward under the New Disclosure Opportunity (NDO).
To take advantage of this final opportunity to benefit from the 10% penalty rate all that has to be done is notify HMRC by 4 January 2010.
Notification can be done online and does not require any tax calculation or payment. HMRC simply needs a few details in order for the taxpayer to be included in the NDO. Once the scheme’s doors are closed those found to have undisclosed offshore assets will be subject to full tax investigation, penalties of up to 100% and in the most serious cases criminal prosecution.
HMRC has issued statutory notices to over 300 banks in the UK requiring them to provide information about customers with offshore accounts. This information is starting to come in and it will be used to ensure that everyone pays the right tax.
The Financial Secretary to the Treasury, the Right Hon Stephen Timms MP, said: “The use of offshore accounts to evade UK tax is illegal. It deprives the UK of tax revenues to fund essential public services and is unfair to the vast majority of honest taxpayers who pay what they should. I urge anyone in this position to come forward and sign up. Time is running out but it’s still not too late.”
Dave Hartnett, HMRC’s Permanent Secretary for Tax said; “From 5 January HMRC will begin to investigate those who were eligible to use the NDO but failed to do so. Penalties could then be increased to 100 percent of the tax evaded – wiping out any advantage from going offshore in the first place. Notification of intention to use the NDO could reduce this by 90%. By 5 January it will be too late so I strongly urge anyone who thinks they have something to tell us to come forward now as HMRC will follow up all undeclared off shore accounts where there is significant tax to pay.”
The NDO process is straightforward in simple cases. But there are many pitfalls for the unwary or those with more complex tax affairs. Badly managed Disclosures can have the reverse effect; leading to higher penalties a Civil Investigation of Fraud enquiry or even prosecution.
Lynam Tax Enquiry Experts had substantial experience of the first Tax Amnesty (Offshore Disclosure Facility) and are helping many clients and their agents with both the current tax amnesties: the New Disclosure Opportunity and the Liechtenstein Disclosure Facilty.
For a free, private, no obligation consultation, don’t delay, call Paul Lynam today: on 0845 643 9997