Voluntary disclosures, disclosure facilities and campaigns
Sometimes irregularities occur in people's tax affairs, but changes in circumstances at a later date mean that they would like to 'come clean' and volunteer the irregularities to HMRC.
Such changes in circumstances may be for example:
- HMRC has announced that it has received information from a bank where you have funds
- HMRC has received information from your trade association e.g. Corgi
- Where information is likely to reach the public domain in a court hearing.
- Death of a relative who had undeclared funds.
- The individuals decide that following severe increases in anxiety and loss of sleep, they will be better off paying what is due and moving on.
However, many people do not know where to start and how to put things right.
In addition to general voluntary disclosures, which can be made at any time, HMRC are allowing groups of people to come forward “en masse” with a commitment to admit to past errors and to pay the right amount of tax in the future.
Although HMRC have targeted groups, such as doctors, dentists and plumbers, they will usually allow other individuals to come forward with undeclared UK income using the same terms as the specific scheme which is running at the time.
Over the past decade, there have been several opportunities to disclose financial irregularities to HMRC. These have included the Offshore Disclosure Facility and the Liechtenstein Disclosure Facility.
There are currently two facilities which are still open.
An Online Disclosure Facility which deals with UK irregularities. This includes disclosures which were formerly reported under the Let Property Campaign. If you have any matters which require disclosure to HMRC then this is a route that you could use.
For disclosures relating to non UK matters, you need to use the Worldwide Disclosure Facility. This is also an online process, but covers offshore and other non UK matters. Unlike the LDF which was offered until December 2015, the WDF offers no immunity from prosecution, no reduced penalties and no reduced reporting period.
The main advantage still available is that it is a relatively quick (about 6 month) process and you are unlikely to have to face an HMRC inspector.
Cameron Baum have expertise in preparing reports and disclosures under all available facilities and would be pleased to speak to you, in confidence, about any matters which may need to be reported to HMRC.
We have substantial experience in these areas and can manage the processes on your behalf with HMRC.