Offshore disclosure facility

HMRC announced on 17th April 2007 that they are offering the opportunity for people with an offshore account that is in any way connected to a loss of UK tax to come forward and voluntarily disclose this information. For a limited period, those coming forward will face only a 10 per cent penalty on top of the tax and interest due.

This initiative known as the Offshore Disclosure Facility (ODF) has been rumoured in the press for months, and widely reported as an amnesty, although that is not correct as the under-declared tax and interest have to be paid.

First, banks are writing to customers with offshore accounts to tell them about the ODF, but HMRC are not taking any steps to publicise the ODF beyond their initial press release and information for onshore disclosure on similar terms.
The professional bodies issued joint guidance for their members, which the Tax Faculty has published as TAXGUIDE 3/07, it can be found on the ICAEW website at The guidance covers, among other things:-
  • The scope of the ODF.
  • The parallel facility, on the same terms, for onshore.
  • The strict timetable – notification of the intention to disclose must be made by 22nd June 2007 and disclosure by 26th November 2007.
  • Issues around the competence and experience of members.
  • The consequences of non-disclosure.
  • Notification issues, including online notification.
  • Disclosure issues, including the 20 year time limit, the use of estimates and completing the forms.
  • Payment – this is required in full by 26th November 2007 unless a case can be made for deferred payment terms.
If you would like any further information or advice please call us on 01536 713555.

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