Policy

Reducing tax evasion and avoidance

Supporting detail:

HMRC Campaigns

HMRC runs campaigns that are designed to:

  • help people to bring their tax affairs up to date
  • help them keep them that way, and
  • help stop them getting it wrong in the first place

These campaigns are part of HMRC’s approach to tax compliance.

How they work

We do this by:

  • providing opportunities that make it easier to be compliant – including offering an incentive to self-correct
  • bringing together a basket of activities to encourage voluntary compliance in the target population
  • looking for opportunities to inform customers who are entering the targeted risk area for the first time
  • using what is learned to help HMRC to improve processes to deal more efficiently with customers in the future

What they mean for customers

Our campaigns offer people a chance to get their tax affairs in order on the best possible terms. They provide tools and information to help people do that; to help people keep their affairs in order; and to help stop people getting it wrong in the first place.

Where people choose not to take the chance to set the record straight, we use the information, gathered before and during the campaign, to conduct follow-up work. This includes investigations and prosecutions.

If you think you have unpaid tax that you want to report and pay to us, please contact the Campaigns Voluntary Disclosure Helpline, 8.00 am to 6.30 pm, Monday to Friday, on 0845 601 5041

The results of HMRC campaigns

Since 2007, HMRC campaigns have collected over £580 million in tax from people coming to us, and over £283 million from a large number of follow-up activities. There are a number of criminal investigations underway and eight people have been convicted of cheating the public revenue, with custodial sentences totaling in excess of 10 years handed down and leading to the recovery of £593,000.

Campaign Revenue as of 31 December 2013
Tax Health Plan £57,629,542
Tax Catch Up Plan £1,920,273
Value Added Tax Outstanding Returns £24,760,840
VAT Initiative £20,989,925
Plumbers Tax Safe Plan £19,016,856
Electricians Tax Safe Plan £1,636,693
E Marketplaces £5,309,345
Direct Selling £292,404
Tax Returns Initiative £80,784,866
My Tax Return Catch Up £1,421,426
Property Sales £28,666
Offshore Disclosure Facility £509,030,000
Offshore New Disclosure Opportunity £123,530,000
Campaigns Consequential Disclosures* £3,689,051
Let Property £TBA
Health Well Being Tax Plan £TBA
TOTAL £850,039,887

*These disclosures are from individuals not targeted by any Campaign who have voluntarily come forward and used the Campaigns disclosure line to tell us about undeclared income.

Current HMRC campaigns

Second Incomes Campaign

The Second Incomes Campaign offers employees who have not declared additional untaxed income a chance to pay the tax they owe. Find out more about HMRC’s Second Incomes Campaign, or call the Second Incomes Campaign Hotline between 9 am and 5 pm Monday to Friday on 0300 123 0945.

Let Property Campaign

The Let Property Campaign targets the residential property letting market and offers a chance for landlords in this sector to get up to date or put right any errors they have made and then remain compliant.

Find out more about HMRC’s Let Property Campaign or call the Let Property Campaign Hotline between 9 am and 5 pm Monday to Friday on 03000 514479.

Past HMRC Campaigns

Health and Wellbeing Campaign

The Health and Wellbeing campaign gave professionals working in Health and Wellbeing an opportunity to bring their tax affairs up to date on the best possible terms. This included physiotherapists, chiropractors, chiropodists, osteopaths, occupational therapists, those working in homeopathy, acupuncture, nutritional therapy, reflexology, nutrition, as well as psychology, speech therapy, arts therapy.

The deadline for making your disclosure and paying what you owe was 6 April 2014.

People who missed the opportunity can still make a disclosure by using the Campaign Voluntary Disclosure Helpline on 0300 123 1077 - Monday to Friday, 8am to 6:30pm.

The original guidance on how to make your voluntary disclosure is still available.

My Tax Return Catch Up Plan

The My Tax Return Catch Up Plan was aimed at people who received a tax return or notice to file a return for years up to and including 2011-12, and who had not acted. People had until 15 October 2013 to file all their outstanding tax returns and pay what they owe. After that, HMRC began to take a much closer look at their tax affairs. By using this campaign to come forward, customers received the best terms available.

Property Sales Campaign

The Property Sales campaign is a chance for people to bring their tax up to date if they have sold a residential property, in the UK or abroad, that’s not their main home. If people made a profit but have not told HMRC, they might not have paid the right amount of tax. To take advantage of the best possible terms people needed to have voluntarily disclosed income or gains and to have paid what they owed by 6 September 2013.

The disclosure deadline has now passed and our follow up compliance work focused on those who should have come forward is underway. Although the terms on offer during the disclosure are no longer guaranteed, it will still be better for anyone who has something to tell us about to come forward.

Direct Selling campaign

The Direct Selling campaign gave people involved in direct selling, who had not told HMRC about all of their income, a chance to bring their tax up to date on the best possible terms. Direct selling is where people sell directly to customers usually door to door or in customers’ homes or the workplace.

The voluntary disclosure opportunity offered as part of the Direct Selling campaign closed on 28 February 2013. Cases are now being considered for follow-up action.

VAT Outstanding Returns campaign

The VAT Outstanding Returns campaign was a chance for those who ere registered for VAT, but had not sent in all of their VAT Returns, to bring their VAT Returns and payments up to date on the best possible terms.

The voluntary opportunity offered as part of the VAT Outstanding Returns campaign closed on the 28 February 2013. The identification of cases suitable for compliance checks and criminal investigation is ongoing.

Tax Return Initiative

The Tax Return Initiative was aimed at higher rate tax paying individuals who had been sent a Self Assessment (SA) tax return, or had been told they should send one in, but had not submitted a return.

The Tax Return Initiative voluntary disclosure opportunity closed on 2 October 2012. HMRC is following up against those targeted in this campaign who chose not to take part. This includes issuing estimates of the amount of tax owed and collecting payment through court action or by using a debt collection agency.

e-Marketplaces campaign

The e-Marketplaces campaign was a chance for those who use electronic marketplace websites to buy and sell goods as a trade or business, but who had not paid what they owe, to bring their tax affairs up to date on the best possible terms.

The voluntary disclosure opportunity offered as part of the e-marketplaces campaign (e-MDF) closed in September 2012. HMRC is successfully continuing to use the data gathered to support the campaign to identify those who should have come forward but chose not to. HMRC are looking for cases suitable for investigation.

Tax Catch Up Plan for tutors and coaches

The Tax Catch Up Plan is for those who provide private tuition, instruction and coaching, either as a main or as a secondary income - which they choose not to tell HMRC about. Whilst the time limited voluntary disclosure opportunity closed on 31 March 2012 it is still better to come forward to HMRC as we continue to look for cases suitable for investigation

The VAT Initiative

The VAT Initiative campaign focused on individuals and businesses operating at or above the VAT threshold who had not registered for VAT. Those that came forward were given help by HMRC to pay what they owe and to claim VAT repayments. HMRC continues to help those that came forward to get their affairs in order.

HMRC continues to follow up on those businesses where the information held suggests that the VAT turnover threshold had been exceeded. This could lead to the compulsory registration of businesses and a possible ‘failure to notify’ penalty of up to 100 per cent of the VAT due.

Electricians’ Tax Safe Plan

The Electricians Tax Safe Plan was an opportunity for people who install, maintain and test electrical systems, equipment and appliances, who had not told HMRC about all their income in the past, to bring their tax affairs up to date on the best possible terms.

The voluntary disclosure opportunity closed in August 2012.

Plumbers’ Tax Safe Plan

The Plumbers Tax Safe Plan was a chance for people working as plumbers, gas fitters, heating engineers and associated trades, who had not told HMRC about all their income in the past, to bring their tax affairs up to date on the best possible terms.

The voluntary disclosure opportunity closed in August 2011. As at 30 June 2012, six plumbers have been convicted with more expected to follow.

Medics Tax Health Plan

The Medics Tax Health Plan first offered a voluntary opportunity for doctors and dentists, with tax to pay, to get their affairs up to date with the benefit of a fixed penalty.

The voluntary opportunity closed in June 2010. The disclosures included one individual payment of over £1 million by a doctor and one of over £300,000 by a dentist. Our risk and intervention programme is ongoing so for those who need to it is still better to come forward to HMRC.

New (offshore) Disclosure Opportunity

The New Disclosure Opportunity was designed to provide one final chance for UK based individuals and businesses, with unpaid tax linked to an offshore account or asset, to make a disclosure and put their affairs in order. 15 individual payments over £500,000 four of which were in excess of £1 million.

The New (offshore) Disclosure Opportunity was open to those with any offshore interest, assets or accounts. Data from financial institutions was provided and HMRC has used this and other information to open thousands of enquiries.

Offshore Disclosure Facility

The Offshore Disclosure Facility was the first HMRC campaign and ran between April and November 2007.

The Offshore Disclosure Facility was based on data obtained from five major UK financial institutions. Like the New (offshore) Disclosure Opportunity, it gave people or businesses with unpaid tax connected to an offshore account or asset an opportunity to make a full disclosure of liabilities and to pay duties, interest and penalties due.

The campaign was the first of its kind and provided information and understanding of the way offshore accounts and assets were used that was carried into the first full offshore campaign (the New (offshore) Disclosure Opportunity) covering all institutions offering offshore facilities to UK based entities. After the ODF HMRC made follow up enquiries, mainly based on data gathered following a successful application for notices on five major UK financial institutions.

Help us improve GOV.UK

Please don't include any personal or financial information, for example your National Insurance or credit card numbers.