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Offshore assessment time limits

Sean Wakeman, Partner, Head of Tax Resolutions
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Provisions exist under Section 36A Taxes Management Act 1970 which extend the ‘normal’ time limits to at least 12 years to assess any tax that is due in respect of offshore or overseas matters.

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.

What action do you need to take?

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.

How can we help?

Contact us for expert advice on how to make sure you are compliant.

Contact us

Sean Wakeman
Sean Wakeman
Partner, Tax Resolutions