Big Brother really is watching and getting serious now!

Published on 28 August 2018

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We know we have asked before, but it is now getting very close to crunch time.

After the 30th September 2018, HMRC will be receiving far greater, detailed information about UK resident’s overseas income and gains from a huge list of countries around the world as part of the “Common Reporting Standard”. This isn’t the Panama Papers, or Wikileaks. These are official agreements between the majority of governments around the world in a commitment to reduce the amount of tax evasion that is estimated to be occurring worldwide.

For a number of years now, HMRC have been warning taxpayers that they need to own up and pay up. To help this along, they have offered numerous incentives in the form of disclosure facilities, offering capped penalty rates and protection from prosecution.

The softer approach ends after 30 September. Penalties for non-disclosure of overseas income or gains will be enhanced, with individuals caught facing a minimum tax-geared penalty of 100%, potentially up to 200%. Further penalties can arise on asset value of 10%, and ‘naming and shaming’ the taxpayer where over £25,000 tax is lost.

Even individuals who have taken advice in connection with setting up offshore tax structures face these penalties if the advice received is found to be incorrect.

There is still the ability until 30th September to correct your position, however you have to show that you have taken all reasonable steps in doing so before then.

If this affects you, whether you have taken advice or not in this area, we strongly urge you to contact us, so that we may review your affairs and advise on the appropriate action.

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