The Worldwide Disclosure Facility (WDF) is a mechanism to make a voluntary disclosure to HMRC relating to ‘offshore interests’.

HMRC has increased its focus on the ‘tax gap’ and increasing transparency across global tax authorities in an attempt to end offshore tax evasion.

Taxpayers need to ensure they are fully compliant with their UK tax obligations, or they could face severe penalties from HMRC.  This needs to be done whether you are an individual, company, partnership or a trustee.

Why you need to review your tax position

  1. Increasingly complex and constantly changing UK tax legislation
    • The rules concerning offshore matters have changed significantly.
    • Anti-avoidance measures have been introduced, aimed at offshore structures.
    • You could be inadvertently affected by unknown issues created by third parties or changes to complex tax legislation that you have not appreciated.
  2. Increasing global transparency
    • The Common Reporting Standard (CRS) is an automatic exchange of financial information between countries. Over 100 countries have committed to exchange information on a multilateral basis under the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development Common Reporting Standard.  The CRS dramatically increases international tax transparency.
    • HMRC’s ‘connect’ software allows the collection and analysis of millions of lines of data means you might be susceptible to an investigation, even if you do not realise you have a tax issue.
  3. Penalties and other consequences
    • HMRC is prosecuting more cases and is now demanding higher penalties for offshore offences (up to 200%).
    • You could be at risk of reputational damage from HMRC’s ‘Name and Shame’ powers. WLH Tax would point out that entering into the WDF does not provide immunity against HMRC embarking on a criminal investigation.  WLH Tax will review your situation to consider whether the WDF is the best option.

How can WLH Tax help

In the first instance, WLH Tax will undertake a review of your particular circumstances and provide you with our opinion on how best to regularise your tax affairs.  If required, WLH Tax will assist you in making a voluntary disclosure to HMRC and we have considerable experience in assisting clients in making WDF disclosures.

If you would like to make a voluntary disclosure to HMRC then please contact us for a free, confidential and no obligation discussion.  We are happy to have an initial free of charge meeting with prospective clients.

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