HMRC launch a new disclosure facility

HMRC have launched a credit card sales campaign. This opportunity gives a business that accepts credit and debit card payments, but that have not declared all their UK tax liabilities, the opportunity to bring their tax affairs up to date on preferential terms.  There is no end date for this campaign. A business that wishes to take part should contact HMRC by completing the notification form or calling the credit card sales campaign helpline (0300 123 9272).  It should then fill in the disclosure form and pay the tax owed within four months from the date HMRC acknowledge the business’s notification.

HMRC warn that they have details of all credit and debit card payments to UK businesses and will use the information to identify individuals and businesses that might have underpaid tax. Taxpayers could face higher penalties or criminal prosecution if they fail to come forward voluntarily.  Taxpayers who would like to disclose unpaid tax to HMRC but who are not eligible for this or the other current campaigns – second incomes and let property – can call the campaigns voluntary disclosure helpline on 0845 601 5041.

This is an example of HMRC using third party data which they can demand by law, and then using IT systems to analyse it for investigation purposes. It is likely that HMRC have obtained the data from credit card machine providers and are now using it to trace businesses that are evading taxes.

The Revenue can look back 20 years if the issue is caused by what it calls ‘deliberate behaviour’. Businesses found to fall foul of this may struggle to rectify the situation due to a lack of records, leaving them with a tax bill that could bankrupt the business.

Posted in English on Oct 13, 2014.