Many people are worried because they have not declared income or gains to HMRC. This may have happened for a number of reasons – ignorance of the tax system, an intention to register but never got round to it.
Why should I voluntarily disclose?
HMRC actively search for undeclared income and can use information from a variety of sources including on-line searches, information from other government departments and information from other businesses, such as bank and credit card companies.
Agreements with other countries also allows HMRC to obtain information about overseas accounts, insurance products and other investments.
If you report the situation voluntarily and co-operate fully with any subsequent investigation this should reduce penalties payable.
How should I disclose?
HMRC often run campaigns designed to help people bring their tax affairs up to date which include an incentive to self-correct. This may be reduced penalties or a restriction on the number of tax years that need to be corrected.
The current campaigns are as follows:
Credit Card Sales Campaign - offers an opportunity for businesses that accept credit and debit card payments to bring their tax affairs up to date
Second Incomes Campaign - gives employees who have not declared additional untaxed income a chance to pay the tax they owe
Let Property Campaign - an opportunity for you to bring your tax affairs up to date if you let out a residential property in the UK or abroad
HMRC offshore disclosure facilities also provide an opportunity for people with assets or investments held overseas to bring their UK tax affairs up to date.
Worldwide Disclosure Facility - The WDF launched on 5th September 2016 and is available to anyone who has unpaid tax relating wholly or partly to an offshore issue.
Even if you do not consider that you fall within any of the above categories it may be possible to use the favourable terms anyway.
However, if you choose not to disclose under a campaign, HMRC will use the information gathered in connection with the campaign to open investigations that may result in prosecutions.
If you are concerned that you may have undeclared income or gains please email firstname.lastname@example.org for a free consultation