When the Let Property Campaign was announced last week, the lack of supporting detail was noticeable. In the past, the launch of a campaign by HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) would be accompanied by a clear timetable of action and a raft of information on the HMRC website. Campaigns involving the declaration of previously undisclosed income/over claimed expenditure have typically required the completion of an online notification form by a certain date and the complete disclosure and full payment of additional tax/interest/penalty by a secondary date.
Today an HMRC officer confirmed the Let Property Campaign was not due to start until this December and the early announcement of the campaign had caught the HMRC campaign team ‘by surprise’. Efforts are now being made to get an online disclosure notification link available by the end of this week, but this is being hindered by the movement ‘by the hour’ of information from the HMRC website to the GOV.UK website. Apparently a separate team of HMRC officers is also being brought together to handle the campaign.
Until the link is available, HMRC is handling any such disclosures manually.
The current procedure is this:
- Initial contact should be made with the Let Property Campaign team on 03000 514479. The number is available Monday to Friday between 9am and 5pm.
- The HMRC officer will request some basic information about the person wishing to make a disclosure including their name, address, national insurance number or Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR), date of birth and contact telephone number.
- A disclosure record will then be set up by HMRC and a reference number allocated. The reference number is usually two letters followed by eight numbers.
- A blank disclosure form is then issued by post with a three month deadline for completion.
The procedure outlined above can be followed at any time if someone wishes to make a voluntary disclosure of income to HMRC, in order to secure a beneficial penalty rate.
However, disclosures will not be accepted if:
- They are made by people who are already under investigation by HMRC.
- They are inaccurate or incomplete.
- HMRC believes the money that is the subject of the disclosure is the proceeds of serious organised crime.
The HMRC officer would not confirm the Let Property Campaign had been brought forward prematurely because of Danny Alexander’s speech to the LibDem conference last Wednesday, when the campaign was initially announced.
Author: Guy Smith, Senior Tax Consultant on the ReSource Tax & VAT Consultancy Team.
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