In recent times HMRC have introduced a number ‘disclosure campaigns’ to allow individuals and businesses to register with HMRC of their intention to disclose income which they have earned without suffering tax.
Campaigns in the past have targeted plumbers, electricians and individuals with offshore interests, and the most recent press release clearly shows why HMRC favour such campaigns with over £610 million being raised from voluntary disclosures and a further £395 million from follow up activity.
Therefore, in order to encourage taxpayers to take advantage of the disclosure campaigns, HMRC have advised that they will offer them the best possible terms. Fundamentally this means that HMRC will look to reduce any potential penalties. There are, of course, conditions attached to this including ensuring full disclosure is given and all information is provided to HMRC in a timely manner.
Currently, HMRC are looking at three separate campaigns which are as follows:
If individuals would like to take advantage of HMRC’s disclosure campaigns they must first register their interest with HMRC. Thereafter, they will be required to complete a disclosure form and provide all relevant information to HMRC.
Whether or not an individual takes advantage of a current campaign or voluntarily discloses untaxed income or gains, full disclosure is recommended at an early date as this will normally result in reduced penalties which could be as much as 100% of the unpaid tax.