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HMRC Campaign news

Stuart Coleman, Manager of the Tax Department of ABDS comments:
“There are a number of campaigns where both the notification and disclosure periods have now closed. If you have unpaid tax that you think could have been reported and paid to HMRC under one of these campaigns, it will still be beneficial for you to submit your completed tax returns and pay what you owe before HMRC comes to you as the penalty may be lower. If you require any help or assistance please either contact us at ABDS or call the Campaigns Voluntary Disclosure Helpline.”

The Offshore Disclosure Facility (ODF) was the first HMRC campaign and ran between April and November 2007 and to date follow up activity for the ODF has recovered over £400 million in unpaid tax. Enquiries that are still open will be pursued to conclusion.

The 2009 New Disclosure Facility (NDO) was designed to provide one final opportunity for UK based individuals and businesses, with unpaid tax linked to an offshore account or asset, to make a disclosure and put their affairs in order.

It raised £85 million from 5,500 disclosures including 15 individual payments over £500,000 four of which were in excess of £1 million. NDO was open to those with any offshore interest, assets or accounts.

Data from 146 financial institutions was provided following successful application to Tax Tribunal in August 2009 and HMRC has used this and other information to open thousands of enquiries that have recovered a further £23.4 million in unpaid tax since the NDO closed.

The Medics Tax Health Plan (THP) campaign, which closed in June 2010, raised more than £10 million from 2160 notifications that led to over 1,500 disclosures. The disclosures included one individual payment of over £1 million by a doctor and one of over £300,000 by a dentist.

The information gathered from THP disclosures and other sources, including payments made by insurance companies, has allowed HMRC to identify and target those they believe should have used the THP campaign to make a disclosure but chose not to. To date this has meant more than 1000 civil investigations have been started.

The VAT Initiative campaign, which closed on 31 December 2011, focused on individuals and businesses operating at or above the VAT threshold who had not registered for VAT.

HMRC wrote to over 40,000 businesses to highlight the VAT Initiative and 848 businesses notified HMRC that they should previously have registered for VAT and wished to take part in the campaign. At 30 November 2012, 647 businesses who had registered for VAT through the initiative, have submitted their first VAT Return resulting in revenue of over £13.5 million.

The Direct Selling Campaign’s and the VAT Outstanding Returns Campaign’s voluntary disclosure opportunity closed on the 28 February 2013. The identification of cases suitable for compliance checks and criminal investigation is ongoing.

It is now too late to make a disclosure under the both of these campaigns but you can still disclose unpaid tax as it will be beneficial for you to tell HMRC and any penalty you pay may be lower than if HMRC comes to you first.

The Tax Catch Up Plan for tutors and coaches closed on 31 March 2012. It raised more than £780,000 from 646 notifications that led to over 400 disclosures. The Tax Catch Up Plan was for those who provide private tuition, instruction and coaching, either as a main or a secondary income - which they choose not to tell HMRC about.

The Electricians Tax Safe Plan (ETSP) voluntary disclosure opportunity closed in August 2012. It raised more than £2.2 million from 526 notifications that led to 263 disclosures. The identification of cases suitable for compliance checks and criminal investigation is ongoing.

The voluntary disclosure opportunity offered as part of the e-marketplaces campaign (e-MDF) closed in September 2012. The campaign raised more than £650,000 from 702 notifications that led to over 395 disclosures.

HMRC is using the data gathered to support the campaign to identify those who should have come forward but chose not to. Since 30 November 2012, 56 completed investigations have recovered more than £670,000. The identification of cases suitable for checking by HMRC and for criminal investigation is ongoing.

The Tax Return Initiative voluntary disclosure opportunity closed on 2 October 2012. It raised more than £30 million from 3270 notifications that led to 5567 late returns being submitted.

HMRC is now taking follow up steps against those that chose not to take part. This includes issuing estimates of the amount of tax owed and enforcing payment through court action or by using a debt collection agency. Higher penalties of up to 100 per cent of the tax owed will follow and HMRC are also reviewing some cases for criminal investigation and possible prosecution.

The Property Sales campaign is an opportunity for people to bring their tax up to date if they have sold a residential property, in the UK or abroad, that’s not their main home. If people made a profit but have not told HMRC, they might not have paid the right amount of tax. To take advantage of the best possible terms people need to voluntarily disclose income or gains and pay what is owed by 6 September 2013.

If you need any help and advice for your business on Tax, VAT or the implications of HMRC initiatives, contact Lavinia Newman, Stuart Coleman or Tonmoy Kumar to discuss how ABDS can help

ABDS Chartered Certified Accountants of Southampton.
Tel: 023 8083 6900  E-mail:

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