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GOT AN OFFSHORE BANK ACCOUNT?

Or any other offshore asset?

If you have, do you realise that it is your legal responsibility to disclose any income on it (even if you pay the withholding tax) to H M Revenue and Customs (HMRC) ?

HMRC are now holding details of approx. 400,000 plus people with undisclosed offshore bank accounts. Due to the volume of information they held an Offshore Disclosure Facility (ODF) from April 2007 to June 2007. This opportunity has now passed.

HMRC received approx. 60,000 disclosures under the ODF and are starting to pursue the remaining appropriate cases. This could take them years.

How will HMRC contact me?

HMRC has been contacting holders of offshore bank accounts who chose not to disclose under the ODF. Depending on your circumstances this may take various forms. Full details are available at http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/offshoreaccounts/index.htm

New Disclosure Opportunity

HMRC have announced a New Disclosure Opportunity (NDO) which will run from 1st September 2009 to 12th March 2010. This will give taxpayers an opportunity to "come clean" once and for all with a reduced penalty of 10% (unless you had received a letter from HMRC for the ODF in which case 20%).

HMRC now state "once this disclosure window closes, those taxpayers who have not come forward but are found to have unpaid liabilities will face penalties of at least 30% rising to 100% of the tax evaded. They also run the risk of prosecution".

YOU MUST NOTIFY HMRC BY 30TH NOVEMBER 2009 TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THE NDO.

Tougher Penalties

HMRC have also introduced a new tougher penalty regime for failure to disclose taxable income. Minimum penalties have increased with the maximum penalty remaining at 100% of the tax due. Yes 100%!! Please also remember that interest is payable on all tax paid late. Disclosure to HMRC could lead to substantial reductions in penalties.

Further details of the new penalty regime can be found at http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/about/new-penalties/faqs.htm

Our advice is simple.

If you have an undisclosed offshore bank account or other offshore asset, or indeed any other tax irregularity, you should make a full and complete voluntary disclosure to HMRC in any event. 

For professional advice and assistance please contact Andrew or Bill Dick at G W Dick & Co LLP, Chartered Accountants and Tax Investigation Specialists on 0191 4553779 or Email: enquiries@gwdickandco.co.uk

See our full site at:

www.gwdickandco.co.uk

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