Date for making offshore tax payments imminent

offshore-savingsPeople with offshore funds who made use of HM Revenue and Customs’ New Disclosure Opportunity have been reminded that payments of outstanding taxes must be made by 12 March.

The New Disclosure Opportunity allowed those taxpayers with undeclared assets in offshore accounts to notify HMR of the fact and to take advantage of a reduction in the penalties that might otherwise have been charged.

Under the disclosure offer, penalty charges were reduced to 10 per cent of the tax owing.

Those people who have notified HMRC of their intention to disclose, the deadline for which was 4 January, now have until 12 March to make the disclosure and to pay both the tax and the penalty.

Once that date passes, anyone who is found to have undeclared and taxable offshore assets will face penalties of a minimum of 30 per cent rising to 100 per cent.

Disclosures can be made electronically to 12 March 2010.

HMRC has issued notices to over 300 banks in the UK requiring them to provide information about customers with offshore accounts.

Dave Hartnett, HMRC’s permanent secretary for tax, said: “Taxpayers with offshore investments who have notified us of their intention to disclose have done the right thing, saving themselves 90 per cent of the potential penalties for failing to disclose.

“They now need to follow through by making their disclosure online and paying in full all the taxes they owe.”

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