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Offshore disclosure deadline extended

Offshore disclosure deadline extended

Category: Offshore savings

Updated: 30/10/2017
First Published: 30/11/2009

This article was correct at the time of publication. It is now over 6 months old so the content may be out of date.

The deadline up to which offshore account holders can disclose their unpaid taxes has been extended by HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC), a move which has been hailed as a 'sensible and realistic move.'

HMRC had originally announced a deadline of 30 November for account holders to make clear their intention to pay previously undisclosed taxes, and had been warned that failure to do so would result in a minimum 30 per cent penalty and the possibility of criminal prosecution.

However, the deadline has been extended, meaning account holders now have until 4 January to disclose their offshore tax affairs under the New Disclosure Opportunity (NDO), which will qualify them to pay a lesser penalty of ten per cent of taxes owed.

They will also avoid the possibility of criminal proceedings.

"We know that some bank customers will not be contacted by their banks in good time for the original deadline of 30 November, so in the interests of fairness we have decided to extend our deadline by a month to 4 January," Dave Hartnett, HMRC's Permanent Secretary for Tax, said.

"This is a great way to start the New Year - with the knowledge that your tax affairs are in order and the certainty that the penalty will be capped at 10 percent."

The NDO has seen over 300 banks and financial institutions asked to hand over details of offshore clients and it had been feared that the sheer scale of the operation would see some people miss the deadline.

"This is a sensible and realistic move which recognises the lack of time under the original deadlines," commented Gary Ashford, chairman of the Chartered Institute of Taxation's Management of Taxes Sub-Committee.

"As we envisaged, there hasn't been enough time to sort out all the information from the various banks.

"The new deadline should work, even if it might mean an uncomfortable Christmas for some taxpayers."

Following registration, the submission deadline for full paper disclosures of any liability is 31 January 2010 and for online disclosure is 12 March 2010.

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