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Worldwide Disclosure Facility

On 5 September 2016, HMRC launched a final overseas disclosure facility: the Worldwide Disclosure Facility (WDF).

There is no end date to the facility, but new sanctions are likely to come into force after 30 September 2018 under the Requirement to Correct legislation and settlement terms. The sanctions after this date will not be as beneficial as those currently available.

The facility can be used by anyone who wishes to make a disclosure of unpaid UK taxes wholly or partly relating to an overseas asset.

Registration needs to be made by HMRC’s Digital Disclosure Service (DDS) and the following details will be required to notify an intention to make a disclosure:

  • Name
  • Address
  • National Insurance number
  • Unique Tax Reference
  • Date of birth
  • The name, reference and contact details of any agent acting

Following receipt of a Disclosure Reference Number (DRN), the disclosure must be submitted to HMRC within 90 days using HMRC’s DDS. A requirement of the facility is that payment of the total liabilities is made in full at the time of submission.

The final settlement will involve interest and penalties. The level of penalties will be based on differing criteria and may be higher if there is already an ongoing investigation, the disclosure is connected to a previous inaccurate disclosure or settlement and offshore penalties may need to be considered.

It is important to note that the WDF does not guarantee immunity from a criminal investigation. Therefore, it may be more appropriate to make a voluntary disclosure via Code of Practice 9 (COP9).

Why you should contact us

Our team of former tax inspectors has a significant amount of experience in being able to guide you through which disclosure process best meets your needs. We are able to manage the appropriate tax disclosure process to ensure liabilities are kept to a minimum. Where appropriate, we can also assist with the drafting of any formal tax disclosure report.

For more information or help from one of our tax investigation specialists, please contact us using our enquiry form.