In March 2013, the UK Government announced an amnesty for UK taxpayers, giving them an opportunity to check that their affairs are up to date and, if appropriate, make a disclosure of any potential unpaid tax liabilities to Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC). The amnesty runs until 30th September 2016.
Jersey and Guernsey are two of the world's leading international financial centres and are consistently recognised by the OECD, the IMF, and the UK Government for their commitment to the very highest levels of transparency and global regulatory standards. Consequently all financial institutions in Jersey and Guernsey have been asked to write and advise all of their UK resident clients of the amnesty now and again 6 months prior to the amnesty expiring.
The amnesty covers all UK taxes and is available to those individuals, companies, partnerships and trusts that were resident in the UK between 6th April 1999 and 31st December 2013 providing they had a beneficial interest in a bank account, annuity, company or trust based in Jersey or Guernsey at some point between these dates and are not under investigation by HMRC on 6th April 2013.
The benefits of using the amnesty includes the fact that any unpaid tax is only due from 6th April 1999 (not the statutory 20 years) and in most cases any penalties are fixed at 10% of the unpaid tax (increasing to 20%+ for 2008/09 onwards). Further, persons using the amnesty need not meet with HMRC, will not be subject to a detailed or intrusive forensic review by HMRC, and will be immune from prosecution provided they make a full and complete disclosure.
Should you want to know more about the UK amnesty, please contact your UK tax adviser.