I received a letter from HM Revenue & Customs about “overseas assets, income, or profits”. A friend told me that this is a so-called “nudge letter” and should not be ignored. The letter comes with a proof of tax status to fill out, but I’m cautious about doing this. What do I need to consider before responding?
Karmjit Kaur Mader, Director of Tax Dispute Resolution, Accounting and Business Advisory Company BDO, Says that this is certainly what HMRC considers to be a “nudge letter.”It is designed to Nudge taxpayers Consider whether their tax affairs are up to date with respect to foreign assets, income or profits.
HMRC will issue such letters to taxpayers who receive information related to non-UK assets, such as foreign bank accounts. Don’t panic, as receiving this letter does not automatically mean that your tax is wrong. At this stage, HMRC encourages you to carefully consider your tax position.
The certificate has three different options to make sure there are no taxes to pay. Declares offshore income and tax return profits. Or you are properly covered by personal allowances and remedies. Or you are not obliged to pay UK taxes.
If the tax is not up to date, the certificate can specify that it will be disclosed using HMRC’s Worldwide Disclosure Facility (WDF), an online digital facility that can be used to verify and disclose.
There is no legal obligation to complete the certificate. Indeed, the Declaration states that fraudulent statements in certificates are criminal offenses and you may be subject to investigation and prosecution. Therefore, you should carefully consider the wording and options of the certificate before responding. You should also notify HMRC if you are unlikely to respond before the deadline.
If you have not paid the appropriate tax amount, it is important to disclose it to HMRC early and fully. Failure to do so can result in the form of civil punishment or, in the most serious case, the criminal procedure. Disclosure via WDF may not be suitable for your situation. In that case, the certificate options may not be appropriate.
WDF does not offer taxpayer exemptions from criminal investigations, but there are other disclosure options that may be more appropriate. Ultimately, you should seek expert advice from someone with expertise to ensure that your tax affairs comply with HMRC regulations.
A scammer scammed me — how can I get my money back?
I recently received a call from a bank fraud prevention team. The phone number matched the number on the back of my bank card and contained personal information that would only be available from the bank. They said my account was compromised, and I had to transfer funds to another account where they provided the details. They were very convincing over the phone and I sent £ 24,000. A few days later, I called a bank headquartered in London and found out that I was a victim of an authorized push payment scam. How can I get my money back? Banks are really useless.
Dan Dodman, a partner of the law firm Goodman Derrick’s dispute resolution team, Says you are not the only one to fall into this kind of scam. Push payment scam It’s on the rise and I see them happening every day as individuals lose hundreds of thousands to hundreds of thousands of pounds.
In terms of what can be done to recover the funds, almost all British High Street banks (except TSB, which has its own compensation scheme) have been able to prevent this fraud and return the funds in certain circumstances. We signed a voluntary code in May 2019.
Did the bank ignore the “effective warning” when adding a new beneficiary, or did the payment be made without “reasonable grounds” in the belief that the person on the call was the person? I will decide.
It is very important to write a letter to the bank to explain exactly why you made the transfer and what information you were convinced that it was a legitimate phone call. Examples I’ve seen include scammers who know the security word for their account and scammers who have access to some recent transactions. The more information you provide, the more likely your bank will refund you. The scammer knew his personal information, so he needed to give it in detail, and the phone number matched the phone number on his bank card.
Voluntary norms were expected to provide some certainty and assist customers, but in reality they have been applied in a very non-uniform way. Transactions with the same basic facts appear to be processed in completely different ways, depending on the case handlers involved, between banks and even within the same bank.
My advice is to write frequently and keep pushing until the final decision is made. If the bank refuses to pay, the next step is to contact the financial ombudsman and ask them to check the situation. You can file this complaint within 6 months of the bank’s final response, but the process is electronic and fairly straightforward.
Financial ombudsmen tend to reach reasonable conclusions, but these often take months to create. It is not uncommon for it to take a year to get results.
Finally, keep in mind that you are not the only one with available help and exposure to this type of scam. Recovery is common if you take the appropriate steps early on.
The opinions in this column are for general information purposes only and may not be used as a substitute for expert advice. The Financial Times Ltd and the authors are not responsible for any direct or indirect consequences of their reliance on replies, including losses, and eliminate liability altogether.
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I was my neighbor’s executor, paid his beneficiaries and filed a final tax return. However, HMRC is now (a few months later) returning with a question about the accuracy of the deceased’s tax return and has begun investigating undeclared income. Does this mean I’m personally liable because I have no room to pay unpaid income taxes or fines?
I received a “Nudge” tax letter from HMRC. What should i do?
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