The Credit Card Sales Campaign

credit card

The Credit Card Sales Campaign – From: Andrew Stephenson

Do you accept Debit and Credit Cards, are you sure that you have fully declared all your transactions in your return – here’s how to bring this matter to order with HMRC.

Credit Card Trap

The Credit Card Sales campaign provides an opportunity for individuals and companies in business that accept debit and credit cards and have not reflected all transactions in a return, to bring their affairs up to date in a simple, straightforward way and take advantage of the best possible terms. – contact the Pierce Tax Department for further details.
20130926 HMRC logo PF-hmrc-logo_1379417f

Credit Card Sales campaign: your guide to making a disclosure

 

Contents

  1. About the Credit Card Sales campaign
  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

1. About the Credit Card Sales campaign

1.1 Introduction

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) believes that its customers want to pay the right amount of tax and so wants to help those that are not paying the correct amount to put that right.

The Credit Card Sales campaign provides an opportunity for individuals and companies in business that accept debit and credit cards and have not reflected all transactions in a return, to bring their affairs up to date in a simple, straightforward way and take advantage of the best possible terms.

If you owe tax on your income you must tell HMRC about any unpaid tax now. You will then have 4 months to calculate and pay what you owe. This guide explains how you can do that.

1.2 The scope of the Credit Card Sales campaign

The Credit Card Sales Campaign is an opportunity open to individuals and companies in business.

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.

1.3 Disclosures outside of the Credit Card Sales campaign

You can still make a disclosure and put your tax affairs in order even if you are not within the scope of the Credit Card Sales campaign. You may be eligible under another campaign. To find out whether you fall within any other Campaign you need to check HMRC campaigns or contact the helpline on Telephone: 0300 123 9272.

If your disclosure cannot be made under a current open campaign the terms offered 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 they raised an enquiry or compliance check without the disclosure.

For all other disclosures you should telephone the Voluntary Disclosure Helpline on Telephone: 0300 123 1077. This is a helpline specifically designed to help you if you do not fall within the scope of an ongoing campaign but wish to make a voluntary disclosure.

1.4 How to take part in the Credit Card Sales campaign

To take part in the Credit Card Sales campaign you should:

  • tell HMRC that you want to take part in the Credit Card Sales campaign (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 have helped them and the accuracy of the information you provided.

1.5 What’s in it for me?

Regardless of whether the errors were due to misunderstanding the rules or deliberately avoiding paying the right amount it is better to come to HMRC and admit any failures and or inaccuracies rather than wait until HMRC uncovers those errors.

The Credit Card Sales campaign offers the best possible terms available to get your tax affairs in order. You can take advantage of these by notifying your intention 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 but if you do it is likely to be lower than it would be if HMRC finds out you have not paid enough tax.

If you have completed your Income Tax Self Assessment or Corporation Tax Self Assessment tax returns within the appropriate time limits, but have 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 however you do not come forward and HMRC finds later that you are behind with your tax, it may be harder to convince them that it was not a deliberate act. The law allows HMRC to go back up to 20 years and in serious cases HMRC may carry out a criminal investigation.

This is an opportunity to stop worrying about what might happen; have certainty about what you owe and get things right for the future.

1.6 If you have undisclosed liabilities and choose not to disclose

HMRC is targeting tax evasion through Debit and Credit Card Sales and will use information it holds on its digital intelligence systems to identify taxpayers who might not have declared all their income. This will involve HMRC carrying out checks or enquiries to resolve. The customers involved will not then 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 Credit Card Sales campaign. 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[(http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/prosecutions/crim-inv-policy.htm).

2. How to make a notification and disclosure to HMRC

2.1 Notification

You must tell HMRC of your intention to make a disclosure. You need to 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 you will be making:

  • about your own tax affairs or your company’s tax affairs (if you are a director, or company secretary)
  • on behalf of someone else (for example if you are a tax adviser or personal representative)

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

You can notify:

HMRC will note your details if you telephone or they will send an email if you notify online and agree to an electronic acknowledgement. Please be aware that your form will be sent over an internet channel which does not have security protection. Information you send to HMRC is at your own risk. Later, HMRC will write to you to confirm your unique Disclosure Reference Number to use whenever you contact them about the Credit Card Sales campaign.

You will also be given a Payment Reference Number to use when paying what you owe.

If after you have notified you realise you no longer need to make a disclosure you must tell HMRC by calling the Credit Card Sales Helpline on Telephone 0300 123 9272. If you don’t HMRC will take follow up action to secure a disclosure from you.

2.2 Disclosure

You can do this as soon as you have your Disclosure Reference Number but you must disclose within 4 months of the date you receive your notification acknowledgement.

You can make a disclosure:

  • about your own tax affairs or your company’s tax affairs (if you are a director, or company secretary)
  • on behalf of someone else (for example if you are a tax adviser or personal representative)

You can make your disclosure by:

If you are not submitting your form online you should post the completed disclosure form to:

HMRC Local Compliance Centres Credit Card Sales campaign S0790 Po Box 3900 Glasgow G70 6AA

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 cannot pay what you owe by the deadline given you must have made payment arrangements with HMRC (contact the Helpline Telephone: 0300 123 9272) by that date.

If you do not do this you will not be able to make a disclosure under the Credit Card Sales Campaign and will not receive the certainty of terms and conditions within it.

3. Preparing your disclosure

3.1 How to 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 4 months 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 cannot 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 will 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 should not include any expenses in your disclosure that you’ve previously included in a tax return or earlier correction.

Once you have calculated the income you need to disclose, you will 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 have already received PAYE income and/or told HMRC about some other income and are now disclosing additional income for any year you need to make sure that you take this into account in your calculations.

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 may be adjusted as a result of your disclosure.

Companies (and other organisations including clubs, societies, associations and other unincorporated bodies.) 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.

3.2 If you don’t have all the business records you need to make your disclosure

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 have worked out any estimates you have used, so you need to keep your calculations.

If you have your bank statements for the period of your disclosure they will 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 more 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 have not kept proper business records you should begin to do so immediately. This opportunity is your chance to put things right from now on. If HMRC finds in the future that you have failed to keep appropriate records, they can penalise you up to £3,000.

3.3 Income that should be included in your disclosure

A condition of taking part in the Credit Card Sales campaign is that you include all of the income you have previously not told HMRC about in your disclosure.

You need to tell HMRC about any income that has not been previously declared. The income you need to include in your disclosure will depend on the tax year it relates to and the reason why you have not told HMRC about this income before.

Income earned in either the current tax year or the year prior to the current tax year

Any income received in the current tax year should not be included in your disclosure. If you are not registered for Self-Assessment you will need to register now either for Income Tax or in the case of Companies you must give notice of coming within charge of Corporation Tax.

A tax return or notice to file a tax return will be issued to you 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.

The income you received in the year prior to the current tax year will also need to be included on a tax return rather than in your disclosure. If you have submitted the previous year’s tax return you can make an amendment within 12 months of the statutory filing date’

Income tax returns

Income Tax returns usually need to be submitted by either the 31 October or 31 January following the end of the tax year, depending on whether the return is submitted online or not. It is therefore likely that for current and prior year, you will still have time to submit an accurate tax return including this income.

For income tax a tax year starts on 6th April each year and runs to the following 5th April. The current tax year is the year in which the current date falls.

For example if you are registered for Income tax self assessment and if today’s date is 12 November 2014 the current tax year starts 6 April 2014 and ends 5 April 2015. This income should be included on the tax return for tax year ending 5 April 2015 which must be filed online by 31 January 2016 or by 31 October 2015 if submitted in paper form. The income for the tax year ending 5 April 2014 should be submitted on a tax return online no later than 31 January 2015. The income for both years should not be included in the disclosure.

Income tax for tax year ended 5 April 2011 and later years

If you were registered for Self Assessment prior to tax year ending 5 April 2011 and have not submitted tax returns for this or any later year you should complete these and submit them rather than include the years in your disclosure. You will be liable for any penalties that are due for the late submission of these returns.

If you have not been issued with tax returns for tax year ending 5 April 2011 and later or have already submitted them and now wish to report previously undeclared income you can include income for these years in your disclosure. Remember that the income for both the current year and the year prior to that should not be included in your disclosure.

Income tax for tax year ended 5 April 2010 and earlier years

Income for tax years ended 5 April 2010 and earlier can be included in your disclosure.

Company tax returns

A Company’s tax returns should be submitted within 12 months from the accounting period end date. More information can be found on the internet the deadlines and requirements for Corporation Tax.

If your Company Tax returns are outstanding, you should file all outstanding tax returns that are within 4 years from the end of the accounting period. Income for earlier years can be included in your disclosure.

If your Company has come to within the charge to Corporation Tax and if today’s date is 12 November 2014 and your corporation tax accounting period ends on the 31 March 2015, you must pay the Corporation Tax for that period by 1 January 2016 and file your Company Tax Return for that period by 31 March 2016. The profits chargeable to corporation tax for the accounting period ended 31 March 2014 should be submitted on a tax return online no later than 31 March 2015. The profits chargeable to corporation tax for both years should not be included in the disclosure.

HMRC’s internet page Introduction to Corporation Tax will provide you with more information.

3.4 How many years will I need to include in my disclosure?

This depends on why things went wrong.

If you are taking part in the Credit Card Sales campaign you will know why you haven’t previously told HMRC about your income or paid the right amount of tax.

You will 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 now need to disclose.

HMRC also asks you to decide whether you made an error despite taking reasonable care, whether you were careless, or whether it was something you did deliberately. How much you pay will depend on the answers to those questions.

If you failed to notify HMRC that you had started in business

When you started to receive income, and you are an individual (including individuals within a partnership), the latest you should tell HMRC is 5 October after the end of the tax year for which you start to receive that income. If, for example, you have tax to pay on income in the tax year ended 5 April 2014, you need to let HMRC know by 5 October 2014.

HMRC sends a newly formed limited company 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 by post to your company’s registered office. However, even if you don’t receive this form you must still tell HMRC within three months of your company becoming active, for example by starting business activity or starting to trade. The best way to do this is to use HMRC’s online service.

If you failed to register for a Self Assessment tax return by the appropriate deadline you will have to pay HMRC what you owe up to a maximum of 20 years.

If you have taken reasonable care

If you registered for a Self Assessment tax return by the appropriate deadline, have taken care to make sure your tax affairs were correct but you have still paid too little, you will only have to pay HMRC what you owe for a maximum of 4 years. This means you:

  • will need to make sure that your tax affairs for the current and later tax years are accurately reported on tax returns by the appropriate deadlines
  • will need to make sure that your tax affairs for the year prior to the current tax year are reported on the tax return that was issued to you for that year 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 were careless

If you registered for a Self Assessment tax return by the appropriate deadline but you have 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:

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

If you deliberately misled HMRC about this income

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

3.5 Other liabilities you should include in your disclosure

Other Income liabilities including non- business income

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

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

However, if you are disclosing on behalf of a company that is entitled to claim relief under Section 458 CTA 2010 Telephone: 0300 123 9272 immediately for an appropriate offer letter.

Capital Gains income

You must disclose all capital gains which you have not previously declared. For example, capital gains made on the disposal of investments, such as land, property, shares, stocks, bonds, goodwill.

A company will include its Chargeable Gains on its Company tax return.

Employer income

If you employed anyone, you may have to pay some tax and national insurance contributions (Pay As You Earn) in respect of what you paid to your employees. You need to include this on your disclosure form.

3.6 Other potential liabilities you can tell us about in your disclosure

You cannot provide details of the liabilities below on your disclosure form however please 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 successfully resolved any issues regarding these liabilities.

VAT issues

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

  • you have exceeded the VAT threshold and need to register, then you can either use HMRC’s online services or make a postal application Most applications for VAT registration can be completed online but there are some circumstances where a postal application is required. For all standard registration applications, please send your completed form to the VAT Registration Service, Crown House, Birch Street, Wolverhampton, WV1 4JX
  • you have made an error on a VAT return you have submitted then you can correct certain errors, subject to conditions, by adjusting your VAT Return. Please refer to Notice 700/45 (July 2013) “How to correct VAT errors and make adjustments or claims”)
  • if you do not meet the conditions for making adjustments on the return then the adjustment must be made in writing. You can notify any error in writing including those eligible for adjustment on a VAT return. The simplest way is to use form VAT 652 ‘Notification of Errors in VAT Returns’

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

VAT Error Correction Team HMRC Regian House James Street Liverpool L75 1AD

Class 2 National Insurance Contributions (NIC)

If you are self-employed but have not yet registered to pay Class 2 NIC you need to do so immediately so you do not lose 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

What if you or your partner are receiving or 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 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 or have received for the relevant year(s).

If you believe you may have liabilities for any other taxes and or duties not mentioned above please ring the helpline for assistance.

3.7 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 a 6 year tax, interest and penalty calculator and a 19 year 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 straightforward and you are entitled to only basic personal allowances

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

3.8 Penalties

HMRC charges penalties on any additional tax due as a result of you having:

  • sent HMRC an incorrect tax return
  • not told HMRC that you have started to be liable to tax

HMRC does not charge interest on these penalties unless they are paid late.

The penalty is a percentage of the additional amount due. Penalties can be up to 100% of the tax liability. However, for the Credit Card Sales campaign, if you submit an accurate voluntary disclosure, the rates are usually 0%, 10% or 20% depending on the circumstances. Higher penalties of up to 200% can be charged for an offshore liability.

Penalties that apply to offshore income and gains depend on the category that the offshore territory falls into. This includes your disclosure. Penalties that apply to offshore can be higher. Please contact the helpline if your disclosure includes an offshore matter.

The tables below show the penalty HMRC will charge if you:

  • do take part in the Credit Card Sales campaign
  • don’t take part and HMRC later find that you have not told them about all your income and paid enough tax

Although the rate of the penalties will vary depending upon your circumstances, they will usually be lower if you take part in the Credit Card Sales campaign than they would be if you do not.

If you haven’t declared the correct tax payable to HMRC despite taking reasonable care with your tax affairs, you will not pay any penalties at all. HMRC does not expect many people’s circumstances to fall within this category.

If you haven’t paid enough tax despite taking reasonable care with your affairs or there is anything else you think HMRC need to consider concerning the penalties you have to pay, please phone the helpline before making your disclosure.

Penalty if you come forward in this Credit Card Sales Campaign

Penalties for making an inaccurate return

Circumstance Tax Years up to year ended 5 April 2008 or Accounting period ending on or before 31 March 2008 Tax years ending 5 April 2009 and later years or Accounting period beginning on or after 1 April 2008
You sent HMRC a return showing less tax payable than the correct amount because you had been careless No penalty No penalty
You sent HMRC a return knowing it showed less tax payable than the correct amount (You may have to pay penalties of up to 100% of the tax due if you tried to conceal the inaccuracy) 20% of the tax due 20% of the tax due

Penalties for failing to tell us about your liability to tax

Circumstance Tax Years up to 5 April 2009 or Accounting periods ending on or before 31 March 2010 Tax years ending 5 April 2010 and later years or Accounting periods ending on or after 1 April 2010
You started trading, made a gain, started letting property, or received other untaxed income and did not tell HMRC that you needed to make a return, but you weren’t deliberately trying to keep the information from HMRC 10% of the tax due 10% of the tax due or 0% if you advise HMRC within 12 months from when the tax first became unpaid
You deliberately failed to tell HMRC you had started trading, made a gain, started letting property, or received other untaxed income and needed to make a return. (You may have to pay penalties of up to 100% of the tax due if you tried to conceal the failure). 20% of the tax due 20% of the tax due

Penalty if HMRC finds out you have not paid enough tax

Please note higher penalties of up to 200% can be charged in relation to inaccuracies involving offshore matters.

Penalties for making an inaccurate return

Circumstance Tax Years up to year ended 5 April 2008 or Accounting period ending on or before 31 March 2008 Tax years ending 5 April 2009 and later years or Accounting period beginning on or after 1 April 2008
You sent HMRC a return showing less tax payable than the correct amount because you had been careless No Penalty Between 15-30% of the tax due
You sent HMRC a return knowing it showed less tax payable than the correct amount. (You may have to pay penalties of up to 100% of the tax due if you tried to conceal the inaccuracy). Up to 100% of the tax due Between 35-70% of the tax due

Penalties for failing to tell us about your liability to tax

Circumstance Tax Years up to 5 April 2009 or Accounting periods ending on or before 31 March 2010 Tax years ending 5 April 2010 and later years or Accounting periods ending on or after 1 April 2010
You started trading, made a gain, started letting property, or received other untaxed income and did not tell HMRC that you needed to make a return, but you weren’t deliberately trying to keep the information from HMRC Up to 100% of the tax due Between 20-30% of the tax due or 10% if you advise HMRC within 12 months from when the tax first became unpaid
You deliberately failed to tell HMRC you had started trading, made a gain, started letting property, or received other untaxed income and needed to make a return (You may have to pay penalties of up to 100% of the tax due if you tried to conceal the failure). Up to 100% of the tax due Between 35-70% of the tax due

You may have to pay penalties of up to 100% (200% for offshore related income) of the tax due if you tried to conceal the extent of the undeclared tax. If this applies to you please call the helpline on Telephone: 0300 123 9272.

If HMRC thinks that you have not included the right penalty in your disclosure, they may reject it.

Individuals can use HMRC calculators to help you calculate the interest and penalties due on the income you are including in your disclosure.

If you are making a multiple year disclosure, you should include all years in a single calculation and not calculate each year on a separate, individual basis.

Use the tax and interest calculator (PDF 69K) to calculate what you owe going back 6 years. This will also help you in calculating the tax you owe. It should only be used if your tax affairs are straightforward and you are entitled to only basic personal allowances.

Use the 19 year calculator (PDF 143K) if you need to include more than 6 years in your disclosure. This will help you to calculate the interest and penalties you owe for the last 19 years. This calculator is for interest and penalty calculations only and will not 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. Penalties can be calculated by reference to the tax understated and applying the appropriate penalty percentage as shown in the above table. Suggested steps to calculate the amount to be included in the disclosure are:

  • step 1 – Calculate additional Corporation Tax liability
  • step 2 – refer to Interest table
  • step 3 – apply correct interest to liability calculated in step 1
  • step 4 – Apply appropriate penalty to liability calculated in step 1

When HMRC checks your disclosure they will consider whether the penalty you have applied is reasonable. There is 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, has not done this deliberately.

3.9 The Declaration

This is a very important part of your disclosure. You should only complete the declaration once you are certain that the disclosure is correct and complete and that you understand why you have been asked to include penalties in your disclosure.

3.10 The Offer

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

However, if you are disclosing on behalf of a company that is entitled to claim relief under Section 458 CTA 2010 Telephone: 0300 123 9272 immediately for an appropriate offer letter.

4. Paying HMRC

4.1 When you will have to pay

Unless you have contacted HMRC to agree additional time to pay, you should send your payment at the same time as you send your disclosure, but no later than the 4 month deadline given on your notification acknowledgement letter.

4.2 Payment Methods

Whichever way you pay, please make sure that you quote your Payment Reference Number. HMRC accepts payment by a range of methods but recommends that you make your payment electronically. Electronic payments are more efficient, secure and safer than payment by post.

4.3 If you cannot pay the full amount

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

If for some reason you cannot pay the full amount, you will need to let HMRC know as soon as possible and before you send in your disclosure. To do this, you should contact the helpline on Telephone: 0300 123 9272 Lines are open Monday to Friday 9:00am to 5:00pm.

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
  • how and when you intend to pay HMRC what you owe
  • what your current weekly/monthly income and outgoings are
  • what you own, including your home, other property/land, vehicles, investments, money in the bank etc
  • what you owe, including mortgages, loans, credit cards

If you cannot pay the full amount do not submit your disclosure or payment until you have spoken to HMRC.

5. After HMRC receives your disclosure

5.1 Accepting your disclosure

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

5.2 Acknowledging your disclosure

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 Credit Card Sales campaign. If you haven’t received an acknowledgement within 2 weeks of sending your disclosure, please telephone the Credit Card Sales campaign Helpline on Telephone: 0300 123 9272.

HMRC expects most disclosures to be self explanatory but they may need to contact you or your tax adviser to clarify any points. 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 jeopardise acceptance of your offer.

5.3 Considering your disclosure

HMRC will review all disclosures. If after those checks are completed HMRC decide to accept your disclosure they will send you a letter accepting your offer. If HMRC cannot accept the disclosure they will contact you. If following their enquiries HMRC finds that a disclosure is materially incorrect they will seek significantly higher penalties. It is also possible that 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.

5.4 Disclosures that are unlikely to be accepted through the Credit Card Sales campaign

Certain disclosures are unlikely to be accepted under the Credit Card Sales campaign.

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

Also unlikely to be accepted are disclosures from customers where HMRC has opened an enquiry or compliance check before the customer has notified their intention to submit a disclosure under the campaign. 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.

Instances involving 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 of this include VAT fraud, VAT bogus registration fraud, organised tax credit fraud and instances where there is wider criminality (such as an ongoing police investigation).

Disclosures will not be accepted where a person’s inaccuracy or failure was a result of a deliberate action which they then tried to conceal.

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.

Also, if you were eligible for any past HMRC disclosure opportunity and you did not disclose at that time, HMRC may find it hard to accept that anything you disclose through the Credit Card Sales campaign was not a result of something you did deliberately. HMRC would expect you to calculate your penalty and the number of years you should pay to reflect deliberate action. If you do not, 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.

5.5 If you disclose very serious tax problems

HMRC can’t offer immunity from prosecution but 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.

5.6 If you leave something important out of your disclosure

If after submitting your disclosure you realise you have missed something out, you should immediately contact HMRC to make an amendment. You can do this by contacting the helpline on Telephone: 0300 123 9272 or by forwarding your amendment in writing to the following address:

HMRC Local Compliance Centres Credit Card Sales campaign S0790 Po Box 3900 Glasgow G70 6AA

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 Credit Card Sales campaign.

5.7 Information received after disclosure accepted

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.

5.8 If I disclose this liability could HMRC publish details about me?

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 proves to be both accurate and complete before the deadline you are given for doing so
  • cooperate 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.

5.9 As an officer of the company could I be liable to pay a penalty

A company officer or officers may be liable to pay part, or all, of a company’s penalty for a deliberate inaccuracy, failure to notify or wrongdoing but only where the inaccuracy, failure or wrongdoing was attributable to the officer or officers.

And either the officer gained or attempted to gain personally from the offence, or the company is, or is likely, to become insolvent.

6. Getting things right for the future

Once you have submitted your disclosure HMRC expects you to keep your tax affairs in order in the future. This means that you should continue to accurately declare your income and gains for those years that fall after the latest year you include in your disclosure. You should ensure any tax returns that are issued to you are returned with accurate information by the appropriate deadlines.

7. General information

7.1 Help and advice

If you have any questions not covered by this guide please phone the Credit Card Sales campaign Helpline on Telephone: 0300 123 9272. Lines are open Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm.

Further guidance on Self Assessment for income tax and Self Assessment for corporation tax is also available.

7.2 Customers with particular needs

If you need extra help to deal with the Credit Card Sales campaign Team please get in touch. HMRC can help if:

  • english is not your first language
  • you want a copy of this guidance in Welsh
  • you would like HMRC to use a certain format to communicate with you – for example braille or Text Relay
  • you would like a copy of this guidance in audio or large print

Contact the helpline on Telephone: 0300 123 9272 or +44 300 123 9272 if dialling from outside the UK (Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm).

If you use Text Relay by Textphone, please dial 18001 + number. If you use Text Relay by Telephone please dial 18002 + number.

HMRC recognises that the above options might not meet the needs of some of their customers. If you believe that you require additional support and advice, you can contact the needs enhanced support services.

7.3 Your rights and obligations

HMRC’s customer charter (called Your Charter) explains what you can expect from HMRC and what HMRC expects from you.

7.4 What if you are unhappy with HMRC’s service?

If you are unhappy with HMRC’s service please phone the Credit Card Sales campaign Helpline on Telephone: 0300 123 9272 or write to HMRC at the address below:

HMRC Local Compliance Centres Credit Card Sales campaign S0790 Po Box 3900 Glasgow G70 6AA

7.5 Privacy and confidentiality policy

The full protection of the Human Rights Act will continue to apply to you and HMRC has a strict policy regarding the privacy and confidentiality of customers’ personal information.

HMRC’s privacy policy in the Personal Information Charter.

7.6 Data Protection Act

HMRC is a Data Controller under the Data Protection Act 1998. HMRC holds information for the purposes specified in their notification to the Information Commissioner, including the assessment and collection of tax and duties, the payment of benefits and the prevention and detection of crime, and may use this information for any of them.

HMRC may get information about you from others, or they may give information to them. If HMRC does, it will only be as the law permits to:

  • check the accuracy of information
  • prevent or detect crime
  • protect public funds

HMRC may check information they receive about you with what is already in their records. This can include information provided by you, as well as by others such as other government departments or agencies and overseas tax and customs authorities. HMRC will not give information to anyone outside HMRC unless the law permits them to do so.

For more information see HMRC’s Data Protection – Information Charter.

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