Contractors reminded of LDF closure deadline
The Liechtenstein Disclosure Facility is about to close, so contractors who have been paying income from dividends into foreign bank accounts will need to make the most of the opportunity to take advantage of the last few days during which their transactions are covered. There are a number of ways in which offshore tax liabilities can arise that would be covered by the LDF, including capital gains tax on holiday homes or rental properties.
There is a misconception that the LDF is only applicable to those who have secreted millions away in offshore bank accounts – anyone with offshore assets can ‘come clean’ to HM Revenue and Customs under the generous terms of the scheme which are unlikely to be offered again. Those who wish to take the opportunity to make the most of the benefits offered by the scheme before the deadline of the 31st December.
Those who do not take this chance to benefit from the LDF could find themselves facing charges with the offence of ‘strict liability’. This is the controversial offence under which someone can be charged and found guilty without the need for proof of intent and the sentence for someone who is prosecuted in this way could be jail time. This is the alternative for those who fail to declare offshore assets under the LDF before the deadline meaning that the looming deadline is an important one for anyone who thinks their investments might be affected.
The strict liability offence will apply in cases where the loss to HMRC amounts to £5,000 or more, and experts believe that the department is more likely to push for harsher punishments in cases where the offence is committed by a professional. The taxman wants to remind people that the 31st of December is the deadline for registering for the LDF, not necessarily reaching a settlement, but many people will need to take advice so it’s best to act as swiftly as possible if you think you might be able to benefit from the scheme.
Anyone who wants to know more about the tax rules which affect them can make the most of the information we provide such as our guides to contractor tax, our comparison of the advantages and disadvantages of a limited company and a range of other free contractors’ guides.
If you want someone to deal with the details of your tax affairs then speaking to one of our specialist accountants will save you time and money, so call today on 01442 275789 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for details of how we can help.