edAs HMRC launch yet another disclosure facility, the Chartered Institute of Taxation (CIOT) called on it to heed the advice of the House of Commons Treasury Committee and establish a ‘general disclosure facility’.
The CIOT has been calling for such a facility since 2007 in order to make it as easy as possible for people to put their tax affairs in order. It was "delighted" when it was recommended in a report by the Committee. In ‘Closing the Tax Gap: HMRC's record at ensuring tax compliance’, it was said
33. A further suggestion made by a witness [Frances Corrie, Tax Aid] was that there should be: a more permanent, visible and transparent route in either through the helpline or, as online is the preferred mode, something on the website that enabled people to effectively get themselves back into the system at the time when in our experience what prompts people back into the system is very often personal events in their lives. It is not the availability of a campaign or even the thought that the Revenue are more closely breathing down their necks. It is their partner who has told them to get themselves sorted out or there is a baby on the way.
HMRC launched its ‘e-Markets Disclosure Facility’, offering people trading on the Internet using online marketplace sites the opportunity to catch up and pay tax they owe with a discounted penalty. The facility closed on 14 June 2012.
The Worldwide disclosure facility was launched in 2016 and allows the disclosure of any UK tax liability relating wholly or partly to an offshore issue. For offshore matters it is a general disclosure facility for years up to and including 2015/16; it does however close on 30 September 2018.
Whilst HMRC launched a Digital Disclosure service also in 2016, this is to be used by taxpayers wishing to make a disclosure under any current or future HMRC campaigns and is not a general disclosure facility.