UK Government

HM Revenue & Customs: DON’T MISS THE BOAT - Time is running out offshore

Press Release   •   Dec 28, 2009 11:03 GMT

Taxpayers with undisclosed offshore investments have just one more week to come forward under the New Disclosure Opportunity (NDO).

To take advantage of this final opportunity to benefit from the 10% penalty rate all that has to be done is notify HMRC by 4 January 2010.

Notification can be done online and does not require any tax calculation or payment.  HMRC simply needs a few details in order for the taxpayer to be included in the NDO.  Once the scheme’s doors are closed those found to have undisclosed offshore assets will be subject to full tax investigation, penalties of up to 100% and in the most serious cases criminal prosecution.

HMRC has issued statutory notices to over 300 banks in the UK requiring them to provide information about customers with offshore accounts. This information is starting to come in and it will be used to ensure that everyone pays the right tax.

The Financial Secretary to the Treasury, the Right Hon Stephen Timms MP, said:

“The use of offshore accounts to evade UK tax is illegal. It deprives the UK of tax revenues to fund essential public services and is unfair to the vast majority of honest taxpayers who pay what they should.

"I urge anyone in this position to come forward and sign up.  Time is running out but it’s still not too late.”

Dave Hartnett, HMRC’s Permanent Secretary for Tax said;

“From 5 January HMRC will begin to investigate those who were eligible to use the NDO but failed to do so.  Penalties could then be increased to 100 percent of the tax evaded – wiping out any advantage from going offshore in the first place. Notification of intention to use the NDO could reduce this by 90%.

“By 5 January it will be too late so I strongly urge anyone who thinks they have something to tell us to come forward now as HMRC will follow up all undeclared off shore accounts where there is significant tax to pay.”

Notes to editors

1.         To use the NDO a notification of the intention to disclose must be made to HMRC by 4 January 2010.

2.         Disclosures can then be made:

.        on paper to 31 January 2010

.        electronically to 12 March 20103.        

3.        The penalty rate of 10% will not apply to those written to by HMRC under the Offshore Disclosure Facility (ODF) in 2007.  These customers will pay 20%. The ODF ran from April to November 2007, and raised over £400m in revenue.

4.         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 and risk criminal prosecution.

5.         The Chancellor announced at PBR that the Government will legislate to make clear that all unpaid offshore tax will be viewed as deliberate non-compliance – attracting penalties up to 100% of tax due.

6.         Online notifications can be made on line at

Issued by HM Revenue & Customs Press Office

NAT 91.09

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