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January 7, 2010

Only 10,000 offshore savers opt for HMRC amnesty

by Gill Montia

Story link: Only 10,000 offshore savers opt for HMRC amnesty

HM Revenue & Customs’ disclosure opportunity for offshore savers has encouraged only 10,000 UK residents to settle their unpaid taxes.

The amnesty, which offered savers the chance to pay a mere 10% penalty on tax owed, ended on Monday and is expected to raise £500 million.

For those making a disclosure on paper, HMRC expects to receive settlement by 31st January, and for those revealing all online, the deadline is 12th March.

Calculations should take into account unpaid tax over the past 20 years, plus the 10% penalty.

Those holding back are reminded that HMRC has now reverted to imposing fines of up to 100% of tax evaded, and that in his December pre-Budget report, the Chancellor of the Exchequer laid out plans to raise the maximum penalty to 200%.

Alistair Darling also confirmed that since April 2009, HMRC has requested details of at least 100,000 offshore accounts held at over 300 financial institutions with operations in the UK.

The first such amnesty took place in 2007, when around 45,000 Britons paid their dues.

 

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