Spring Budget 2017 – Offshore evasion: requirement to correct (RTC)

As announced at Budget 2016, legislation will be introduced in Finance Bill 2017 that imposes a statutory requirement to correct a past failure to pay UK tax on offshore interests. The legislation will require UK taxpayers who have not declared their offshore interests to HMRC by 5 April 2017 to correct the situation before 30 September 2018 or face significantly tougher sanctions.

HMRC published detailed responses to their consultation on this proposal on 5 December 2016.

The Chancellor has announced that the draft legislation will be amended so that UK taxpayers will not be able to assert that they had a reasonable excuse for not disclosing their offshore assets on the basis that they took professional advice if they sought advice from an adviser who was not independent of the entity administering the offshore asset(s).

The RTC affects all UK taxpayers with offshore interests, as they will be required to review their financial affairs and disclose any irregularities to HMRC before September 2018.

The September deadline corresponds with the date that HMRC expect to receive information from cooperating jurisdictions via the Common Reporting Standard.  From this date onwards HMRC believe they will have unprecedented access to information on offshore assets held by UK resident individuals and entities.