HM Revenue & Customs issues ‘nudge’ letters to people suspected of having undeclared overseas assets

HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) has written to people suspected of having undeclared overseas assets, asking them to declare any currently undeclared overseas assets and to complete a certificate declaring the correct tax position.

The letters have been generated following receipt of information from tax authorities around the world through the Common Reporting Standard and are intended to ‘nudge’ or prompt people to check the information they have submitted to HMRC is accurate and complete.

Taxpayers are invited to make any disclosure using HMRC’s Worldwide Disclosure Facility. However, the Chartered Institute of Taxation (CIOT) advises its members that this is not necessarily the most appropriate way to make a disclosure and that a taxpayer’s specific circumstances and the legal position should be considered first.

CIOT also advises that a letter from a tax agent providing a fuller explanation of the position can be provided in place of the certificate enclosed with the ‘nudge’ letter.

If you receive a ‘nudge’ letter from HMRC entitled “Your overseas assets, income or gains”, please contact us urgently for professional advice and guidance. Failure to respond to the letter could prompt a detailed tax investigation.