Taxpayers who make a voluntary disclosure are looked on favourably by HMRC, who offers considerable beneficial terms to those doing so. If you are considering this, getting your strategy right from day one is the best way of ensuring the best outcome.
It is key that you provide HMRC with all the information necessary to check that the disclosure is complete and accurate. This helps your voluntary disclosure to be resolved as quickly and effectively as possible, avoiding HMRC prolonging the process.
Apart from keeping your associated profession costs to a minimum, you benefit from:
- Significantly reduced tax-geared penalties
- a streamlined and simplified system for disclosing the unpaid taxes
- a low-impact approach with usually no need to meet HMRC
- in the most serious cases – an undertaking not start a criminal investigation with a view to prosecution.
To ensure that the right decision is made, it is essential that specialist tax advice is sought from the beginning. We are often asked how many years need to be considered and what needs to be disclosed but this depends on your individual circumstances.
For example, if a company director realises that for some reason they forgot to report a dividend distribution on their tax return, it is sensible to check whether this happened in any other tax year.
If it happened more than six years previously, is it necessary to disclose the earlier event? If it is disclosed, is HMRC still in time to formally raise a notice of assessment to recover the tax paid late?
At Moore Kingston Smith, we have a proven track record of successfully resolving all levels and types of voluntary disclosure to HMRC. We tailor our approach to meet your requirements and understand the importance of clear and effective communication throughout the disclosure to minimise the stress and disruption to you.
We can handle the whole process on your behalf. We will work with you to disclose the taxes paid late, interest and any penalties that are due.
In more serious cases, where HMRC might consider that tax was deliberately evaded, it is important to note that HMRC undertakes not to commence a criminal investigation where a full and accurate disclosure is made. This is why it is crucial that you get professional guidance in the first instance. It will save you stress and money in the long run.
The Contractual Disclosure Facility is covered in more detail under Code of Practice 9 here.