The extension is from the current time limits of just four or six years, for careless matters; the 20-year time limit for deliberate behaviour remains. The four-, six- and 20-year time limits continue for onshore non-compliance. The effect is that HMRC can triple / double the number of years assessable against a taxpayer who has made an innocent or careless error.
HMRC's reasoning for increasing the offshore assessment time limit stems from the argument that it requires much more time to gather facts on offshore structures and investments, which may stretch back for many years and can be complex.
The increased assessment window works in conjunction with the Failure to Correct (FTC) penalties (came into force from 1 October 2018) which will be levied at a minimum of 100% of the tax due.
Taxpayers need to review their offshore tax affairs to confirm that they are compliant with current UK legislation. If they are not, they need to make a disclosure with the assistance of Crowe’s Tax Resolutions team.
Contact us for expert advice on how to make sure you are compliant.
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