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HMRC Tax amnesty has been labelled as unfair

06 August, 2009

Confirmed details are now available on the design of the New Disclosure Opportunity (NDO) in an HMRC news release and on the HMRC website.

The NDO will allow people with unpaid taxes linked to offshore accounts or assets to settle their tax liabilities at a favourable penalty rate. It will run from the 1st Sept 2009 until 12 March 2010.

If you have unpaid tax linked to an offshore account or asset to declare, to benefit from the terms of NDO you will need to notify the HMRC and disclose (tell them the details, calculate the amount due and make a full payment) within a set time limit.

The above New Disclosure Opportunity that is being conducted by HMRC has been labelled as an ‘unfair playing field’ for taxpayers who have onshore tax liabilities only.

The national head of tax risk and dispute resolution at RSM Bentley Jennison, Mr. Gary Ashford, was reported as having said that disclosing taxpayers needed to ensure they had submitted information on unpaid taxes offshore as well as liabilities in onshore accounts.

Completely domestic disclosures are not within the scope of the New Disclosure Opportunity, and these taxpayers will be subject to the standard HMRC penalty structure.

He went on to say that this could create an unfair position for those with UK only problems and that it would be better to create a disclosure opportunity for all irregularities, other than the most serious, whether it be offshore or onshore for the period of the New Disclosure Opportunity.

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