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Is it really a bargain?

ROBERT MAAS suggests that practitioners think carefully before biting into HMRC's offshore disclosure facility.

Key points * How much of a bargain is the 10% penalty? * Have you got time to comply with the deadlines? * How many years' income is to be disclosed? * The importance of the June 2007 deadline date. * Has domicile status been ascertained?

THE OFFSHORE DISCLOSURE facility recently announced by HMRC was outlined by Francesca Lagerberg and Paul Roberts in 'Amnesty international?' (Taxation 26 April 2007 page 455). This is an odd facility in so far as HMRC say they are introducing it to help those with unpaid taxes to get their tax affairs up to date yet they seem to be introducing it on a very low key basis so most people who are likely to be able to benefit from it are unlikely to be aware of its existence. The average tax evader or even the average...

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