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Who needs to know this?

Those liable to UK tax who know or suspect that they may not have correctly declared their income and gains to HMRC ought to consider making a voluntary disclosure to HMRC.

We assist taxpayers directly with the preparation and submission of disclosures to HMRC or we work alongside accountants and other advisers allowing them to enhance the service that they offer their clients.

Voluntary disclosures are made before any prompt is received from HMRC. However, they are often prompted by either:

  • A death in the family or a desire to regularise one’s tax affairs to ensure loved ones do not have to do so later;
  • A transaction, such as the purchase or sale of a business;
  • Increased tax transparency through global agreements such as the Common Reporting Standard and an awareness that HMRC are due to receive details of sources of undeclared income or gains; or
  • Media reports of HMRC’s current focus and campaigns.

Why is it important?

Making a voluntary disclosure to HMRC allows the taxpayer, via their adviser, to take control of the issue before any investigation by HMRC. Any penalties will be charged at a lower rate, as going forward voluntarily, demonstrates cooperation.

What are the advantages of seeking specialist support?

No two tax disclosures are the same and we invest time getting to know each taxpayer and the background and fact pattern to their disclosure.

This is crucial because classification of the behaviour of the taxpayer should be made as early as possible in the disclosure process as this affects:

  • The percentage penalty proposed to HMRC;
  • The disclosure route used;
  • The number of tax years required to be disclosed;
  • Possible suspension of the penalty; and
  • The taxpayers exposure to the Deliberate defaulter’s regime, which includes “naming and shaming”

Our approach includes preparing a written narrative to include all the information that HMRC will expect to have received and reviewed before they can accept a disclosure. We know what information will satisfy HMRC and can therefore pre-empt their questions.

Please contact Sarah Scala, Associate Partner and Head of Tax Dispute Resolution for a no obligation and confidential discussion if you are considering making a disclosure to HMRC.

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