If you think you are not paying the right amount of tax, you may be able to tell HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC), under a campaign, and get the best terms on offer. You may not be paying the right amount of tax if you have undeclared income and gains you have not told HMRC about or are behind with your tax affairs.
You first need to decide if you are eligible under a current or future campaign. You then have a window of opportunity to voluntarily put your tax affairs in order and pay what you owe. If you owe tax and don't come forward, it could cost you more if HMRC have to come to you.
This guide explains campaign opportunities and how you can take part. It also outlines what happens if you don't tell HMRC that your tax affairs are not correct or up to date.
On this page:
Campaigns provide opportunities for you to voluntarily put your tax affairs in order. They do this by:
Each campaign focuses on different groups and the opportunities are time limited. If you intend taking part, you need to take action within the time limits for your campaign. Once the opportunity expires, HMRC will clamp down on those who have failed to respond.
If you believe that a future campaign may apply to you and you want to come forward now and voluntarily disclose, you can phone the Campaigns Voluntary Disclosure Helpline.
If you have undisclosed income or you are behind with your tax affairs and it is not covered by a current or future campaign you can also phone the helpline.
There is currently one 'live' campaign:
If you have sold a residential property, in the UK or abroad, that was not your main home and you have not told HMRC about this, you might not have paid the correct amount of tax. This campaign is an opportunity to tell HMRC about your gain and bring your tax affairs up to date.
Property Sales is the final campaign for 2012-13. HMRC will shortly publish information about campaigns that are due to start in 2013-14, in the meantime, if you have unpaid tax that should be reported and paid to HMRC you can call the Campaigns Voluntary Disclosure Helpline.
If you are not up to date with your tax affairs and are eligible for a campaign you should tell HMRC within the time limits. If you have missed any of the deadlines you should phone the Campaigns Voluntary Disclosure Helpline as soon as possible.
HMRC is using legal powers to obtain information from an extensive range of sources and, after each campaign will use this data to identify those who have failed to come forward. HMRC campaigns use cutting-edge tools such as 'web robot' software to search the internet and find targeted information about specified people and companies which helps identify those who have failed to pay the right amount of tax.
HMRC has the right to pursue a criminal investigation in cases of tax fraud but an important factor in making this decision is whether a person has made a complete and unprompted disclosure of any amounts evaded or improperly reclaimed. While HMRC considers each case on its merits, where a person has made a complete and unprompted disclosure, they would generally not carry out a criminal investigation. So tell HMRC about it now and make a full and complete disclosure. It will cost more if HMRC comes to you so please look at these pages and act today.
HMRC will look to maximise the publicity of all criminal investigations.
You may not be able to take part in a campaign:
Any information you send to HMRC as part of a campaign should be correct and complete. If it is not it is unlikely to be accepted and HMRC may then start an investigation. Where the information and documents are materially incorrect or incomplete this may be a criminal investigation.
HMRC is committed to treating everyone fairly and targeting tax evasion. HMRC knows some people don't pay their fair share of tax and that some businesses get undercut by others not paying tax. You can help by doing something about it.
If you know someone who is working and suspect they are failing to pay the right amount of tax, you can call the Tax Evasion Hotline on Tel 0800 788 887 or you can provide details using HMRC's secure website.