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Worldwide Disclosure Facility – Letter from HMRC 

HMRC has recently issued a statement regarding assets owned abroad. If you have income or assets in off shore accounts which might be liable to UK tax then you might want to take advantage of the Worldwide Disclosure Facility if your tax affairs are not up-to-date. Please read the full statement here.

The precise covering wording HMRC has prescribed by law is set out below.

From 2016, HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) is getting an unprecedented amount of information about people’s overseas accounts, structures, trusts, and investments from more than 100 jurisdictions worldwide, thanks to agreements to increase global tax transparency. This gives HMRC unprecedented levels of information to check that, as in most cases, the right tax has been paid.

If you have already declared all of your past and present income or gains to HMRC, including from overseas, you do not need to worry. But if you are in any doubt, HMRC recommends that you read the factsheet linked to this communication to help you decide now what to do next.’

As part of the ‘Automatic Exchange of Information’ under the ‘Common Reporting Standard’ that has been signed up to by many countries and that will be in operation from 2017, HMRC will be receiving and subsequently reviewing large amounts of financial data on UK taxpayers who have assets and financial interests overseas.

It will be very important for all clients who have such assets and interests overseas to ensure that any relevant income and capital gains arising from those assets and interests is correctly declared on a UK Tax Return, if penalties are to be avoided. HMRC may open an enquiry even where income and gains have been correctly declared or treated for UK tax purposes;

Where income and/or capital gains from overseas assets and financial interests have not yet been disclosed to HMRC, now will be the time to act and take advantage of the current worldwide settlement opportunity.

If you have had no overseas assets and/or financial interests, there is no need take further action. Please do not hesitate to get in touch should you require any further information.

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