HMRC says tell us now or face the consequences
HMRC’s Credit Card Sales Campaign is a voluntary disclosure facility for businesses who take credit card and debit card payments and who may not have reflected all of the transactions in a tax return.
The campaign is an opportunity to come clean about both accidental and deliberate non-disclosure. You will have to disclose all the income that was previously unreported and work out how much tax you owe. The number of years you need to go back in your disclosure depends on why you didn’t disclose correctly in the first place. If you deliberately misled HMRC then you must make a disclosure for a maximum of 20 years. You may also need to pay interest on unpaid tax and penalties too.
If all of this sounds like a lot of trouble to go through then remember that HMRC now has access to information on all credit and debit card payments in the UK. They have said they will match that data with existing information received from businesses and open enquiries if they spot inconsistencies. They can go back up to 20 years and the more serious cases can lead to criminal prosecution.
If you don’t take this opportunity for disclosure then you are likely to face higher penalties if HMRC subsequently discovers the income. You might even face criminal prosecution.
Our advice is to bite the bullet and go through the notification and disclosure process as soon as possible. Disclosure takes into account allowable expenses (if they haven’t already been declared), personal allowances and even tax credits, so it can get complicated.
Lewis Smith & Co. – Accountancy services for Stourbridge business.