If you or your business have underpaid tax, either unintentionally through simple error or deliberately by understating or failing to declare earnings, you can make a voluntary disclosure to HMRC to rectify the situation. This will always be preferable to action being taken by HMRC on discovery of the irregularity, which can range from financial penalties to publication of your details on the “Tax Defaulters” website or in the worst cases, criminal prosecution.
HMRC regularly launch campaigns to provide opportunities for people to voluntarily put their tax affairs in order. They do this by identifying a group to target and gathering information and intelligence that can be used to encourage and influence that group to come forward. Campaigns launched so far have yielded £547 million from voluntary disclosures and nearly £140 million from non compliance follow up. Groups targeted have included medics, plumbers and electricians.
Individuals with undeclared offshore assets and income are also being targeted and joint declarations with tax havens including Switzerland, Liechtenstein, The Cayman Islands, The Isle of Man , Jersey and Guernsey have been concluded. Those with potential UK tax liabilities are being identified to HMRC by the authorities in those areas. More information on the special disclosure facilities for overseas assets can be found here.
These campaigns are ongoing, but you should not wait to disclose errors in your tax returns in anticipation of a voluntary disclosure campaign that matches your particular circumstances.
As tax specialists, Taylorcocks can help you to put your affairs in order using the voluntary disclosure procedures available. We will help you to ensure that the information you provide to HMRC is complete and accurate and that you pay the correct amount of tax due whilst keeping any interest and penalties as low as possible.