HMRC still welcome voluntary disclosures with regards to Liechtenstein and other overseas assets.
Until December 2015, HMRC was offering this great facility to UK taxpayers with bank accounts or assets abroad. The facility allowed taxpayers to disclose hidden assets to HMRC, in return for some remarkable benefits. These benefits encouraged taxpayers to make a voluntary disclosure. They provided a route to no prosecution provided you made a full confession to HMRC. This providing the money did not come from criminal activity.
There was a limited 10% penalty. HMRC can normally charge penalties of up to 200%; the LDF limited this.
There was no naming and shaming. Your name, address and details of your offence kept out of the UK’s newspapers.
In cases of serious tax fraud, HMRC could look into your affairs for the last 20 years. However, this was not a rolling 10-year window. This meant HMRC could only go back as far as April 1999 (From 2009, the LDF launch)
You could take advantage of this facility providing you had just one link to Liechtenstein.
If HMRC chose to run a criminal investigation you could face up to 7 years in prison and a large penalty. Thanks to new laws, if HMRC proves you haven’t paid all of your taxes, details of your offence and personal details could cover the front pages of our newspapers, should you choose to not take part. You could be forced to sell a property or other assets in order to pay high bills. Finally, in addition to your tax bill, you could be charged HMRC penalties of up to 200% plus daily interest.
So much so, that HMRC increased their expectations of raising £1bn by the end of the amnesty, March 2015, to £3bn with each disclosure yielding an average of £300,000 additional revenue for HMRC.
First and foremost the amnesty allowed those with offshore assets the chance to wipe the slate clean and normalise their tax affairs by offering promising benefits such as 10% fixed rate penalties and immunity to prosecution. However, even with such encouraging benefits on offer it seems as though HMRC did not reach their targets.
1,351 taxpayers had registered in the scheme by March 2011 which was up from 419 by March of the previous year.
If you have an overseas bank account one of our dedicated tax investigation experts will hold a confidential discussion with you about your situation and give you the assurances you really do need. We also offer expert advice and representation in all types of investigations by HMRC
For more information on any of the specialist tax investigation services we offer, pick up the telephone NOW and call 0800 471 4546.
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