Offshore disclosure opportunity update
HMRC has issued more details about the New Disclosure Opportunity (NDO) for taxpayers who make complete and accurate disclosures between 1 September 2009 and 12 March 2010.
From 1 September full guidance and instructions will be available for download from HMRC’s website. HMRC initially require an intention to disclosure, the deadline for which ends on 30 November 2009. Following receipt of such notifications 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 tax liabilities 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.
Taxpayers who currently have undisclosed taxable income (for example in accounts in offshore banks) are advised to take advice immediately.