Offshore disclosure – final reminder
As previously reported, you should be aware that the deadline for submitting an initial ‘intention of disclosure’ for the current disclosure opportunity is30 November 2009. HMRC has admitted to having sent out many thousands of letters to holders of offshore bank accounts encouraging them to make such disclosures. If you received such a letter please tell us so that we can help you decide what action to take.
This disclosure opportunity is relevant to anyone who has undisclosed taxable income or gains (for example in accounts in offshore banks).
Following receipt of an intention to disclose HMRC will issue a Disclosure Reference Number (DRN). Actual paper disclosures can be made by paper until 31 January 2010 and online until 12 March 2010.
A reduced penalty of 10% will be levied for full disclosure where no previous disclosure opportunity had been available to the taxpayer. A higher penalty (of 20%) will apply where taxpayers were contacted by HMRC as part of the Offshore Disclosure Facility (ODF) in 2007 but did not make a disclosure.
This is expected to be the final disclosure opportunity for taxpayers to disclose arrangements without incurring significantly higher penalties. Taxpayers who have not made a disclosure by 12 March 2010 and are found to have undeclared tax liabilities will face penalties of between 30% and 100% of the tax evaded as well as an increased risk of criminal prosecution.