Offshore Disclosure Facility HMRC - Gilbert Tax

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HMRC Offshore Disclosure Facility

This Disclosure Facility is now closed. The information on this page is provided for reference.

HMRC have launched a number of Offshore Disclosure Facility tax amnesties over the years to enable people to disclose tax evasion. This has been by a number of offshore disclosure facilities or by targeting key sectors in the UK such as Barristers, Builders, Doctors and Plumbers and currently property owners.

Following each of these disclosure facility opportunities a few prosecutions have followed. The philosophy behind this is to give publicity to the fact that people who do not take part in things such as an offshore disclosure facility can face prosecution.

That is not to say that all people who do not take part in an offshore disclosure facility get prosecuted but, if they do not, the decision not to partake in the offshore disclosure facility will hit them hard in the pocket as the terms to settle the tax, interest and penalty as a result of the tax evasion will be significantly higher than if they had taken part in the offshore disclosure opportunity.

HMRC have just announced three new offshore disclosure facility tax amnesties which will run to 30 September 2016.

These are:

  • Isle of Man Disclosure Facility
  • Jersey Disclosure Facility
  • Guernsey Disclosure Facility

All of them share key characteristics being:

  • They commenced on 1 April 2013 and end on 30 September 2016
  • Registration for the facility is necessary
  • A payment of the tax as a result of the tax evasion is mandatory
  • Liabilities are calculated from 1 April 1999 (HMRC can go back 20 years in the case of tax fraud or tax evasion)
  • All tax fraud or tax evasion must be disclosed
  • It is necessary to hold an asset in the relevant jurisdiction
  • The penalty (which is a percentage of the tax due) will be significantly less than if HMRC investigate the tax evasion
  • The full disclosure of all tax evasion must be made within 6 months of HMRC accepting the registration to take part in the offshore disclosure opportunity

There are some exceptions to the above key characteristics and for more information click on the links above to each Jurisdictions Disclosure Facility of visit HMRC's own guidance.

31 December 2013 is Very Important

What is not widely published is that provided action is taken before 31 December 2013 most people, whether they have an offshore asset or not, can purchase one and take advantage of the reduced rates and shorter assessing periods. Generally the exceptions to this are if the individual has been subject to a full tax investigation in the past or if they have been written to by HMRC under the terms of one of the previous offshore disclosure facilities. These individuals will, generally, still be able to take part in the offshore disclosure facility but the shorter time period and the reduced penalty level will not be available.

There is also the Liechtenstein Disclosure Facility available as another offshore disclosure facility tax amnesty, although it is becoming more difficult to meet the qualifying criteria as there is a need to invest significant sums in Liechtenstein.

It is anticipated that there will be more "tax havens" where agreement is reached with the UK to release information of UK nationals with assets in the relevant jurisdiction over the next few months. The information will not be released until after the relevant offshore disclosure facility ends.

It is clear that the days of holding offshore assets to assist in tax evasion are coming to an end. These offshore disclosure opportunities are an ideal opportunity for most people to regularise their tax affairs (or that of their business).

How Can We Help?

Gilbert Tax understands that people sometimes make mistakes in their dealings with HMRC and that HMRC make mistakes in dealing with taxpayers. Many people do not know how to deal with HMRC or who to turn to for help resolve the tax dispute.

Gilbert Tax is a firm of tax advisors who specialise in resolving people's problems with HMRC. We have extensive expertise in dealing with all forms of tax investigations and tax disputes as well as with taking matters to the Tax Tribunal where agreement cannot be reached.

Gilbert Tax deal both directly with the individual who is under enquiry and also work with many firms of accountants supporting them in dealing with HMRC disputes and advising them on how to handle HRMC to get the best result.

The fact is that proper management of HMRC is the best way of reducing the tax, interest and penalty as well as the time taken in resolving any tax dispute.

Gilbert Tax are none judgemental and rigorously defend your position within the scope and parameter of the law. We take control and manage the process to minimise the interruptions that any form of tax investigation causes to an individual's life and business.

For helpful, no obligation and confidential advice call 0800 734 3333

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