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Tell HMRC about your credit and debit card transactions

From: HM Revenue & Customs

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How to declare undisclosed income to HMRC using the Card Transaction Programme.

Contents

  1. About the disclosure programme
  2. How to make a notification and disclosure to HMRC
  3. Preparing your disclosure
  4. Paying HMRC
  5. After HMRC receives your disclosure
  6. Getting things right for the future
  7. General information

About the disclosure programme

Overview

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) believes the majority of customers want to pay the right amount of tax. HMRC also knows there are customers who don’t pay the right amount of tax and wants to help them put that right.

The Card Transaction Programme allows businesses that accept card payments and have not reflected all transactions in a return, to bring their affairs up to date and take advantage of the best possible terms.

Examples could include:

  • a business accepting payments by card that might not have declared all of their income
  • a business that is trading and has not registered with HMRC and accept cards as one of their payment methods

HMRC uses its legal powers to obtain details of debit and credit card transactions from the companies that process those transactions. HMRC is using this, and other data it holds to identify those businesses who have failed to declare all or part of this income.

If you owe tax on your income you must tell HMRC about any unpaid tax now. You’ll then have 90 days to calculate and pay what you owe. This guide explains how you can do that.

You don’t need a letter from HMRC to take part. You can still take part as long as your circumstances are covered by the bullets above.

Disclosures outside of the programme

You can still make a disclosure and put your tax affairs in order, even if you are not within the scope of the Card Transaction Programme. You may be eligible under another campaign. To find out whether you fall within any other campaign you need to check HMRC campaigns.

If your disclosure cannot be made under a current open campaign, the terms offered here will not be available. However, if you make a full and voluntary disclosure of all unpaid liabilities in these circumstances you can usually expect a lower penalty than HMRC would otherwise seek if HMRC had raised an enquiry or compliance check without the disclosure.

For all other disclosures use our disclosure service. If you need any further help, you can telephone the voluntary disclosure helpline on 0300 123 1078. This helpline is for when you don’t fall within the scope of an ongoing campaign but wish to make a voluntary disclosure.

Received a letter from HMRC

HMRC receives data about card transactions from the companies that process those transactions. The data we hold suggests you need to check that you have correctly declared all of the income you have received. This includes income from:

  • online sales
  • telephone sales
  • face to face sales (by card and cash)

Find out what to do

HMRC need you to check you that your tax returns reported all of the income your business received. This includes:

  • Self Assessment (company and or individual)
  • VAT returns

If you’ve been issued with returns but have:

  • under-declared your income
  • not included your income at all
  • have not registered for the relevant tax

you should read the next section about taking part.

If you’ve checked your tax returns and you’re sure you’ve included all of the income your business received, contact HMRC. The team can confirm that you do not need to take part in the scheme. Failure to do this may lead to further correspondence being issued to you.

Taking part

To take part in the Card Transaction Programme you should:

  • tell HMRC you want to take part in the Card Transaction Programme (notify)
  • tell HMRC about all income, gains, tax and duties you’ve not previously told them about (disclose)
  • make a formal offer
  • pay what you owe
  • help HMRC as much as you can if they ask you for more information

To benefit from the reduced penalties offered, HMRC will take account of the level to which you’ve helped them and the accuracy of the information you provided.

As well as making the disclosure detailed above, you may need to complete, or amend tax returns which have already been issued to you. This will depend on when the returns were issued and whether the deadline for amending them has passed. For further information see ‘Preparing your disclosure’.

The advantages of taking part

Whether the errors were due to misunderstanding the rules or deliberately avoiding paying the right amount of tax, it’s better to tell HMRC and admit any failures and or inaccuracies rather than wait until we uncover those errors.

The Card Transaction Programme offers the best possible terms available to get your tax affairs in order. You can take advantage of these by telling HMRCyou wish to participate and make a full disclosure and payment.  When you make your disclosure you must tell HMRC how much penalty you believe you should pay. What you pay will depend on why you have failed to disclose your income. If you have deliberately kept information from HMRC, you will pay a higher penalty than if you have simply made a mistake.

You may not have to pay any penalty at all. If you do, it’s likely to be a lower penalty than it would be if HMRC discovers you have not paid enough tax.

If you’ve failed to register for a Self Assessment tax return you will have to pay HMRC what you owe, up to a maximum of 20 years.

If you’ve completed your Income Tax Self Assessment or Corporation Tax Self Assessment tax returns within the appropriate time limits, but made a mistake when declaring your income, the number of years you will need to pay for will depend on the reasons you are behind with your tax affairs. This can be up to either 4, 6 or 20 years.

If you don’t come forward and HMRC finds later that you’re behind with your tax, it may be harder to convince HMRC that it wasn’t deliberate. The law allows HMRC to go back up to 20 years and in serious cases HMRC may carry out a criminal investigation.

Register your business for tax

If you haven’t registered your business for the relevant taxes, you should use the HMRC sign in service. It’s particularly relevant if you have income to disclose for the current tax year or the year before, that as these years do not normally form part of the disclosure process. More information on what to do for each year is shown at the sub heading ‘Income to include in your disclosure’ within ‘Preparing your disclosure’.

If you choose not to tell HMRC about undisclosed income

HMRC is targeting tax evasion through debit and credit card sales. HMRC will use the information it holds on digital intelligence systems to identify taxpayers who might not have declared all their income. HMRC will be carrying out checks and enquiries to resolve the unpaid tax. The customers involved will not be able to make use of the opportunity offered as part of this campaign.

Where additional taxes are due, HMRC will usually charge higher penalties than those available under the Card Transaction Programme. The penalties could be up to 100% of the unpaid liabilities, or up to 200% for offshore related income.

In serious cases HMRC may consider starting a criminal investigation, in line with their criminal investigation policy.

How to make a notification and disclosure to HMRC

Notify

You must tell HMRC that you intend to make a disclosure. You should do this as soon as you become aware that you owe tax on your undeclared income.

At this stage, you only need to tell HMRC that you will be making a disclosure.

You don’t need to provide any details of the undisclosed income or the tax you believe you owe.

You can tell HMRC about a disclosure relating to:

  • your own tax or partnership affairs (each partner will need to make their own disclosure)
  • your company’s tax affairs (if you are a director, or company secretary)
  • someone else on their behalf (for example if you are a tax adviser or personal representative)

You can’t include details for more than one person or company on a disclosure. For example, if a husband and wife both have undisclosed income, they must complete separate disclosures. Each disclosure should outline the share of the income they wish to disclose. Similarly if a disclosure is required for a company and for a director, this should be shown on two separate disclosures.

Individuals and companies

Individuals and companies can notify HMRC by using the digital disclosure service. HMRC will write to tell you your unique Disclosure Reference Number (DRN). You should use this whenever you contact HMRC about the Card Transaction Programme. You’ll also be given a Payment Reference Number (PRN) to use when paying what you owe.

Agents

Agents should use the digital disclosure service to notify HMRC of your client’s disclosure. HMRC will then send you out a disclosure reference and a payment reference.

If you’ve notified HMRC and you find out you no longer need to make a disclosure, you must tell HMRC. If you don’t contact us, HMRC will take follow up action to secure a disclosure from you.

Disclose

You can do this as soon as you have your DRN, but you must disclose within 90 days of the date you receive your notification acknowledgement.

You can make a disclosure:

  • about yourself or your partnership (each partner will need to make their own disclosure)
  • about your own tax affairs or your company’s tax affairs (if you’re a director, or company secretary)
  • on behalf of someone else (for example if you are a tax adviser)

When you send your disclosure you must pay what you owe.

Please make sure that HMRC receives your disclosure and payment by the date stated on your notification acknowledgement. If you can’t pay what you owe by the deadline given, you must have made payment arrangements with HMRC by that date.

Preparing your disclosure

Calculate what you owe

Depending on your circumstances, this could be simple or complicated and you may want to seek independent professional advice. Although you have 90 days from the date you receive your notification acknowledgement to make your disclosure, you should start gathering together your information and records as early as possible. HMRC can’t provide advice on calculating how much you should pay.

You’ll need to work out the total income for each year you have previously failed to tell HMRC about. You don’t need to include any income in your disclosure that you’ve already declared. This is because tax should already have been paid on this income.

You’ll then need to deduct the allowable expenses from your total income in order to work out your taxable profit (income). Not all of the expenses you incur will be allowable as a deduction.

You shouldn’t include any expenses in your disclosure that you’ve previously included in a tax return or earlier correction.

Once you’ve calculated the income you need to disclose, you’ll need to work out how much tax you owe on that income. The rates of Income Tax you will pay depend on how much income you earn above your Personal Allowance, which is an annual amount of tax free income.

If you’ve already received PAYE income and told HMRC about some other income and are now disclosing additional income for any year, you’ll need to make sure that you take this into account when calculating.

You may be able to use the calculator to work out interest and penalties that are due for the previous 19 years. You’ll need to calculate the tax liability due for each year manually, prior to using this tool.

If you or your partner are receiving (or have recently made a claim for) tax credits you should still make a disclosure, but tick the appropriate box on your disclosure form. The information will be passed to the tax credit office to consider.

You will be notified separately of any changes that may be required to the amount of tax credits you receive for the relevant years. If you have made a joint claim for tax credits you may need to tell your partner that the award could be adjusted as a result of your disclosure.

Companies (including clubs, societies, associations and other unincorporated bodies or organisations) will need to determine the amount of Corporation Tax to disclose on the understated profit arising from this undeclared income. The rate of Corporation Tax payable will depend on circumstances. You will have to consider notifying Companies House if you have submitted accounts that require amendment.

Incomplete business records

If your records are incomplete you should make your best estimate of the undisclosed income and gains and use this to make your disclosure. HMRC may ask you to explain how you’ve worked out any estimates, so you’ll need to keep your calculations.

If you have bank statements for the period of your disclosure, they’ll probably help. If you don’t have them, HMRC recommends you contact your bank as soon as possible to get copies.

If you can’t get copy statements at all, you should work out your income by using the most recent statements as a guide to your income and expenditure. HMRC may ask you to explain why you couldn’t get copy statements.

If you haven’t kept proper business records you should begin to do so immediately. This is an opportunity to put things right from now on. If HMRC later discovers that you’ve failed to keep sufficient business records, they can charge a penalty rising to £3,000.

Income to disclose

You should include all of the income you’ve previously not told HMRC about in your disclosure, unless you are including the additional income in a tax return or as an amendment to a tax return. The section below tells you what action you need to take for each year, depending on the type of business and income you have.

Income earned in the current tax year or the year before

Any income you’ve had in the current tax year shouldn’t be included in your disclosure. If you’re not registered for Self Assessment, you’ll need to register now for either Income Tax if you’re an individual or Corporation Tax if you’re a company.

HMRC will send you a tax return or a notice to file a tax return shortly after the end of the current tax year. You should report this income on that tax return by the deadline. There are different deadlines for individuals and companies.

You should include the previous year’s income on a tax return rather than in your disclosure. If you’ve already sent the previous year’s tax return to HMRC you can make an amendment within 12 months of the statutory filing date.

Individual tax returns

Income Tax returns usually need to be submitted following the end of the tax year by:

  • 31 October for paper returns
  • 31 January for online returns

So it’s likely for the current year and the year before, that you’ll still have time to submit or amend a tax return to include this income.

You can make a disclosure for all tax years up to and including 2014 to 2015. If HMRC have sent you a return for any year from 2012 to 2013 or later and it’s still outstanding, you must complete the return and don’t include those years in your disclosure.

Partnership tax returns

Partnership Tax returns usually need to be submitted following the end of the tax year by:

  • 31 October for paper returns
  • 31 January for online returns

So it’s likely for the current and the year before, that you’ll still have time to submit or amend a tax return to include this income.

For years up to and including 2014 to 2015, you do not need to amend or submit a tax return (unless HMRC have sent you a return for any year from 2012 to 2013 or after, that’s still outstanding) in the name of the partnership. Instead, each partner with additional income to declare should complete and submit their own disclosure.

Company tax returns

A company’s tax returns should be submitted within 12 months from the accounting period end date. If your company tax returns are outstanding, you should file all the outstanding tax returns that are within 4 years from the end of the accounting period. Include income for earlier years in your disclosure.

How many years to disclose

This depends on why things went wrong.

If you’re taking part in the Card Transaction Programme you’ll know why you haven’t previously told HMRC about your income or paid the right amount of tax.

You’ll need to understand when you should have told HMRC that you were receiving this income, as this will have a bearing on the number of years that you will need to disclose.

HMRC also asks you to decide whether:

  • you made an error despite taking reasonable care
  • whether you were careless
  • whether it was something you did deliberately

How much you pay will depend on the answers to those questions.

Failed to tell HMRC you’ve started a business

If you’re an individual and have started receiving income (including individuals within a partnership), the latest date you should tell HMRC is 5 October after the end of the tax year for which you start to receive that income.

For example, if you have tax to pay on income in the tax year ended 5 April 2016, you need to let HMRC know by 5 October 2016.

HMRC send newly formed limited companies a form CT41G (Corporation Tax - Information for New Companies) within a few days of the company being registered at Companies House. This form is usually sent to your company’s registered office.

Even if you don’t receive the CT41G form, you must still tell HMRC within 3 months of your company becoming active (by starting business activity or starting to trade). The best way to do this is to use register at HMRC’s online service.

If you’ve failed to register for Self Assessment by the appropriate deadline you’ll have to pay HMRC the tax you owe, going back up to 20 years.

If you’ve taken reasonable care

If you’ve registered for Self Assessment by the appropriate deadline and have taken care to make sure your tax affairs were correct. Then you discover you’ve paid too little, you’ll only have to pay HMRC what you owe for a maximum of 4 years. This means you’ll:

  • need ensure your tax affairs for the current and later tax years are accurately reported on tax returns by the appropriate deadlines
  • need ensure your tax affairs for the year prior to the current tax year are reported on a tax return by the appropriate deadline
  • have to complete the disclosure form and pay HMRC what you owe for the 3 years prior to this

If you didn’t take reasonable care

If you’ve registered for Self Assessment by the appropriate deadline but you‘ve paid too little because you were careless, you will have to pay HMRC what you owe for a maximum of 6 years. This means you’ll:

  • need ensure your tax affairs for the current and later tax years are accurately reported on tax returns by the appropriate deadlines
  • need ensure your tax affairs for the year prior to the current tax year are reported on a tax return by the appropriate deadline
  • have to complete the disclosure form and pay HMRC what you owe for the 5 years prior to this

Deliberate mistakes

If you’ve deliberately paid too little tax you will have to pay HMRC what you owe for a maximum of 20 years.

Other income liabilities to include

You must include all income and gains in your disclosure where you have paid too little tax. This could include:

  • investment income not taxed before you receive it, for example, bank interest
  • taxed income where additional tax is payable
  • income from property or land rental (less the expenses relating to that income)

If your only undeclared income is from residential letting you should use the Let Property campaign to disclose this.

Loans to directors - Corporation Tax Act 2010, Section 455

If you’re a company director and take money out of your company that’s not a salary or a dividend (over and above any money you’ve put in) you’re classed as having received the benefit of a director’s loan. If this applies, the company may have more tax to pay.

When you pay off a director’s loan (on which your company has paid Corporation Tax) your company may be able to reclaim that amount of Corporation Tax paid, you should contact the campaign helpline.

If you’re disclosing on behalf of a company that is entitled to claim relief under Section 458 CTA 2010, you should contact HMRC immediately for an appropriate offer letter.

Capital Gains income

You must disclose all capital gains you haven’t previously declared. For example, capital gains made on the disposal of investments such as:

  • land
  • property
  • shares
  • stocks
  • bonds

A company will include its chargeable gains on its company tax return.

Employer income

If you’ve employed anyone, you may have to pay some Income Tax and National Insurance contributions (Pay As You Earn) in respect of what you paid to your employees. You’ll need to include this on your disclosure form.

Disclosing other potential liabilities

You can’t provide details of the following liabilities on your disclosure form:

  • VAT issues
  • Class 2 National Insurance contributions
  • Trusts, Inheritance Tax and tax during administration periods
  • tax credits

If any of the above apply, tick the relevant box in the other potential liability section of the form and follow the guidance contained within the disclosure form and below. The campaigns team will liaise with the relevant department to confirm you’ve successfully resolved any issues regarding these liabilities.

VAT issues

If you want to make a disclosure of a VAT matter because:

  • you’ve exceeded the VAT threshold, you can use HMRC’s online services or make a postal application to register
  • you’ve made an error on a VAT return, you may be able to make an adjustment
  • you don’t meet the conditions for making adjustments on the return - you can apply in writing using form VAT 652 Notification of Errors in VAT Returns

You can include the details in a letter instead and send to:

HM Revenue and Customs 
VAT Error Correction Team 
13th floor North Euston Towers 
286 Euston Road 
London 
NW1 3UH 
United Kingdom 

Class 2 National Insurance contributions (NICs)

If you’re self-employed but have not yet registered to pay Class 2 National Insurance contributions you should to do so immediately to avoid losing out on future benefits.

Trusts, Inheritance Tax and tax during administration periods

If you wish to make a disclosure of Inheritance Tax, Trust or Administration Period liabilities please write to HMRC at:

Trusts and Estates Risk Team 
Ferrers House 
PO Box 38 
Castle Meadow Road 
Nottingham 
NG2 1BB 

Tax credits

If you or your partner:

  • are receiving tax credits
  • have recently made a claim for tax credits

you should still make a disclosure but also tick the appropriate box on the disclosure form.

The information will be passed to HMRC to consider. You’ll be notified separately of any changes that may be required to the amount of tax credits you receive or have received for the relevant year(s). If you believe you may have liabilities for any other taxes or duties not mentioned above please contact HMRC.

Interest

HMRC charges interest from the date tax is due until the date it is actually paid. Interest is calculated on a daily basis. Any additional tax that is included in your disclosure will be late and so will attract an interest charge. If you fail to include the correct interest your disclosure will be rejected as it will be incomplete.

To assist individuals there is an interest and penalty calculator available to help you establish the correct amount of interest due. It should only be used if your tax affairs are straight forward and you are entitled to only basic personal allowances.

Companies can refer to HMRC interest rates to establish the amount of interest payable.

Penalties

HMRC charges penalties on any additional tax you owe if you:

  • sent HMRC an incorrect tax return
  • didn’t tell HMRC that you’re liable to tax

In specific circumstances it may not be appropriate to allow you the full reductions for disclosure. For example if you’ve taken a significant period to correct your non-compliance, you cannot expect HMRC to agree a full reduction for disclosure.

In such cases it’s unlikely that HMRC will reduce your penalty by more than 10 percentage points above the minimum of the statutory range. For this purpose HMRC would normally consider a ‘significant period’ to be over three years, or less where the overall disclosure covers a longer period.

The factsheets on penalties for inaccuracies in returns and penalties for failure to notify have more information on the statutory range for penalties to be reduced.

HMRC doesn’t charge interest on these penalties unless they are paid late.

The penalty is a percentage of the additional amount you owe. HMRC can charge penalties of up to:

  • 100% of the tax liability if the income or gain arose in the UK
  • 200% for an offshore liability

If you’ve offshore income or gains to disclose you should make your disclosure and select the offshore option where appropriate in the form.

Although the rate of the penalties will vary depending on your circumstances, they’ll usually be lower if you make a voluntary disclosure.

If you’ve taken reasonable care with your tax affairs, but you haven’t declared the right amount of tax you owe, you won’t pay any penalties at all. We don’t expect many people’s circumstances to fall within this category. If you haven’t paid enough tax even though you’ve taken reasonable care with your affairs or there’s anything else you think HMRC should consider concerning the penalties you have to pay, please phone the helpline before making your disclosure.

If HMRC thinks that you haven’t included the right penalty in your disclosure, we may reject it. Individuals can use the HMRC calculator to help you calculate the interest and penalties due on the income you are including in your disclosure.

If you’re making a multiple year disclosure, you should include all years in a single calculation and refrain from calculating each year on a separate, individual basis.

This calculator is to help you calculate the interest and penalties due on the income you’re including in your disclosure. This calculator is for interest and penalty calculations only and won’t help you calculate the Income Tax due.

Companies can refer to Corporation Tax rates and HMRC interest rates to establish the amount of tax and interest payable.

Suggested steps to calculate the amount to be included in the disclosure are:

  1. Calculate the additional Corporation Tax liability.
  2. Refer to the interest table.
  3. Apply the correct interest to liability calculated in step 1
  4. Applythe appropriate penalty to liability calculated in step 1.

When HMRC checks your disclosure they’ll consider whether the penalty you have applied is reasonable. There’s a space on the disclosure form where you can provide an explanation to assist them in reaching their decision. HMRC may need to contact you to ascertain the reasonableness of the penalty if no explanation is provided.

If HMRC think the penalty applied is too low they may need to carry out a further check of your tax affairs. For example, HMRC may find it difficult to accept, without further enquiry, that someone in business for many years, earning significant amounts without telling HMRC, hasn’t done this deliberately.

The declaration

This is a very important part of your disclosure. You should only complete the declaration once you’re certain that:

  • the disclosure is correct and complete
  • you understand why you have been asked to include penalties in your disclosure

The offer

A condition of using the Card Transaction Programme is that you make an offer to pay the full amount you owe. The offer, together with HMRC’s acceptance letter to you will create a legally binding contract between you and HMRC. There’s a letter of offer included in the disclosure forms which you should complete.

If you’re disclosing on behalf of a company that is entitled to claim relief under Section 458 CTA 2010, contact HMRC for an appropriate offer letter.

Paying HMRC

When to pay

Unless you’ve contacted HMRC to agree additional time to pay, you should send your payment at the same time as you send your disclosure. HMRC should receive it no later than the 90 day deadline given on your notification acknowledgement letter.

Payment methods

Whichever way you choose to pay, please make sure that you quote your Payment Reference Number (PRN).

If you can’t pay the full amount

HMRC expects you to pay what you owe when you make your disclosure.

If you can’t pay the full amount, you’ll need to let HMRC know as soon as possible and before you send in your disclosure. To do this, you should contact HMRC.

When you phone, HMRC will want to talk to you about your current financial position so they can tell you what they think you should pay and when. To help HMRC decide, you will need to tell them:

  • your Disclosure Reference Number (DRN)
  • how and when you intend to pay HMRC what you owe
  • details of your income and outgoings
  • what you own, including your home, other property, land, vehicles, investments and money in the bank
  • what you already owe, including mortgages, loans, credit cards

If you can’t pay the full amount don’t submit your disclosure or payment until you have spoken to HMRC.

After HMRC receives your disclosure

Accepting your disclosure

HMRC anticipates that the vast majority of disclosures will be accepted. If HMRC is satisfied that you’ve made a full disclosure, they’ll accept it as quickly as possible.

Acknowledgement

When they receive your disclosure, HMRC will send you an acknowledgment as soon as possible. HMRC will then consider the disclosure under the terms of the Card Transaction Programme. If you haven’t received an acknowledgement within 2 weeks of sending your disclosure, please contact HMRC.

HMRC expects most disclosures to be self-explanatory but they may need to contact you or your tax adviser for clarification. You may also be asked to provide evidence of your circumstances to satisfy HMRC that your disclosure is complete. Your full co-operation is one of the conditions of using this opportunity and failure to co-operate may affect the acceptance of your offer.

Considering your disclosure

HMRC will review all disclosures. If HMRC decide to accept your disclosure they’ll send you a letter accepting your offer. If HMRC can’t accept the disclosure they’ll contact you. If HMRC finds that a disclosure is materially incorrect they’ll seek significantly higher penalties.

In exceptional circumstances an incomplete disclosure may be considered under HMRC Criminal Investigation Policy. In such cases the material in the disclosure could be used as evidence.

Disclosures unlikely to be accepted

Disclosures that are found to be materially incorrect or incomplete when checked by HMRC are unlikely to be accepted under the Card Transaction Programme.

Disclosures from customers where HMRC has opened an enquiry or compliance check before the customer has notified their intention to submit a disclosure are unlikely to be accepted. Those who want to disclose liabilities under these circumstances should tell the person conducting the enquiry. A full and early disclosure will influence the amount of penalty HMRC seeks in the ongoing enquiry or investigation.

Disclosures where HMRC believes the money that is the subject of the disclosure is the proceeds of serious organised crime are not likely to be accepted. Examples can include:

  • VAT fraud
  • VAT bogus registration fraud
  • organised tax credit fraud
  • instances where there is wider criminality (such as an ongoing police investigation)

HMRC won’t accept disclosures if a person’s inaccuracy or failure was a result of a deliberate or concealed action.

An important factor for HMRC in deciding if they will carry out civil or criminal investigations into cases of fiscal fraud is whether the taxpayer(s) has made a complete and unprompted disclosure of any amounts evaded or improperly reclaimed. Whilst HMRC would consider each case on its merits a complete and unprompted disclosure would generally suggest that a civil (rather than criminal) investigation was appropriate.

If you were eligible for a past HMRC disclosure opportunity and you didn’t disclose at the time, HMRC may find it hard to accept anything you disclose through the Card Transaction Programme wasn’t deliberate. HMRC would expect you to calculate your penalty and the number of years you should pay to reflect deliberate action. If you don’t, HMRC may not accept your disclosure. You will be in this category if you have not yet come forward and would have been covered by a previous campaign.

If you disclose serious tax problems

HMRC can’t offer immunity from prosecution. An important factor when they are deciding whether to carry out criminal investigations into cases of tax fraud is whether you have made a complete and unprompted disclosure of any amounts evaded or improperly reclaimed.

If you leave something important out of your disclosure

If you realise you’ve missed something out, you should immediately contact HMRC to make an amendment. You can contact us using various methods.

If HMRC receives information indicating that your disclosure was incorrect, they have the right to look at your tax affairs again. HMRC may write to you about the information they have received and if necessary, will send you assessments to collect any extra tax due. These penalties are likely to be higher than those offered by the Card Transaction Programme.

Information received after your disclosure

HMRC will continue to seek new information. They will use it to identify customers where a disclosure should have been made or where the disclosure made is not what was expected based on the information HMRC holds.

Publication of those penalised

In certain circumstances HMRC is able to publish the details of those penalised for deliberately failing in particular tax obligations. If you come forward as part of this campaign you will earn the maximum reduction of any relevant penalties for the quality of disclosure, and HMRC won’t publish your details if you do all of the following:

  • notify HMRC that you are going to make a disclosure
  • make a full disclosure including full payment of tax owed which is accurate and complete before the deadline you are given
  • co-operate fully with HMRC if they ask you for any further information

HMRC may include you in a list of deliberate defaulters if you don’t follow these steps.

Company officers and penalties

Company employees may be liable to pay part, or all, of a company’s penalty. This could apply for a:

  • deliberate inaccuracy
  • failure to notify
  • wrongdoing

Only where the inaccuracy, failure or wrongdoing was attributable to the employee and they gained or attempted to gain personally from the offence, or the company is, or is likely, to become insolvent.

Getting things right for the future

Once you’ve submitted your disclosure, HMRC expects you to keep your tax affairs in order in the future. This means you should continue to accurately declare income for every year after the latest year included in your disclosure. You should ensure any tax returns issued to you are returned with accurate information by the appropriate deadlines.