Outline Disclosures

You may have received a letter from HMRC inviting you to make an Outline Disclosure. 

An Outline Disclosure is a key stage to the Contractual Disclosure Facility.  It can be found under Section 4 of the letter from HMRC in which a taxpayer has to admit to tax fraud.  An Outline Disclosure will set the form and content of any meeting with HMRC and subsequent Disclosure Report.

Matters to be included

The prospect of completing an Outline Disclosure can appear to be quite daunting.  What do you include?  What do you exclude?  Do I need to fill the white space on he form?  What if I have more to say but there is no room?

Based on experience, an Outline Disclosure is to include in considerable detail:

  • A description of fraud
  • The individuals and entities (businesses) involved identified to include Unique Taxpayer References (UTR) and VAT Registration Numbers (VRN)
  • The period of time over which the fraud took place
  • Any other information believed to be relevant
  • A Payment on Account
  • Confirmation that there are no further tax errors to be disclosed
  • Any non-fraudulent tax irregularities to be disclosed
  • Confirmation that the taxpayer intends to make an accurate, honest, and complete formal disclosure of all of their  tax irregularities.

As can be seen by the headings above, from the outset HMRC are asking to be provided with detailed, factual information.  Taxpayers are advised to seek specialist advice before drafting such a document.  I will draft an Outline Disclosure for you with your input. 

There is always the possibility that other taxpayers may be contacted by HMRC because of what has been included in an Outline Disclosure unnecessarily.    

Timing

Written Outline Disclosures are required to be submitted to HM Revenue & Customs within 60 calendar days of the date of HMRC’s letter under the terms of the Contractual Disclosure Facility.  Failing to do so in time may be considered as a sign of non cooperation and can result  in HMRC conducting their investigation with higher penalties.  

In my opinion it is best practice is to know what the next stages are in advance.  That way there are no surprises and that way once agreed, all deadlines are met. 

Next steps

HMRC will receive and review the Outline Disclosure.  On the basis it is accepted, taxpayers will be invited to a meeting with HMRC.  The meeting will discuss the content in more detail.  HMRC will ask the taxpayer(s) to commission a Disclosure Report which will be written over the next 6 months typically.  A Disclosure Report will explain and quantify each matter in greater detail.  

Help is at hand

If you would like to discuss this matter further, please contact me at paul@pmc.tax or on 07979 313 010.

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