Anyone with undeclared offshore tax liabilities who fails to come forward under the New Disclosure Opportunity (NDO) faces an increased risk of prosecution, HMRC's Permanent Secretary for Tax, Dave Hartnett, warns in a new podcast launched today.
Under the NDO, people making a complete and accurate disclosure of their untaxed offshore liabilities between 1 September and 12 March 2010 will have any penalty capped at 10 per cent, or 20 per cent if they failed to take up a written offer of a capped penalty under HMRC's 2007 Offshore Disclosure Facility (ODF).
Once this disclosure window closes on 12 March 2010, those taxpayers who have not come forward but are found to have unpaid tax liabilities will face penalties of at least 30% rising to 100% of the tax evaded. They also run a risk of criminal prosecution.
In the podcast, Dave Hartnett makes it absolutely clear that penalties will be "much higher than 10 or 20 per cent" for those who don't come forward, and stresses that "there will not be another chance" to do so.
"This time," he warns, "we are going to have information from the majority of banks operating in the United Kingdom. So, we're going to have a much bigger database from which to work."
The podcast is available to listen to or download for free from the HMRC website.
** Additional Information & Advice **
Depending on your circumstances, however, it may be a good idea to speak with a solicitor who specialises in tax law. You can be matched with a solicitor for free via solicitor matching services, which can also help you to understand the best course of action for your situation and whether you are ready to hire a solicitor.