Guidance

Income or assets abroad: letter about your UK tax affairs

What to do if you get a letter from your tax agent, adviser or a financial institution about money or assets abroad.

Overview

If you’re a UK tax resident with money or assets abroad, you may get a letter from your tax agent, adviser or financial institution if:

  • they’ve given advice about overseas accounts or finances to you, or other clients
  • they’ve provided you with an overseas account, or services for overseas income or assets
  • they’ve referred you for an overseas account
  • they’ve referred you for advice or services overseas
  • you have over 1 million US dollars in accounts or products with them
  • you have a source of taxable income outside the UK

If you get the notification letter about your money or assets abroad, you’ll need to check your tax affairs are up to date, then either:

  • do nothing - if you’ve already declared and paid any UK tax you owe
  • make a disclosure to HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) - if you’ve got undeclared money or assets abroad

Check your tax affairs are up to date

When you get the notification letter, you’ll need to check your tax affairs are up to date by making sure you’ve declared and paid UK tax on your money or assets abroad.

You don’t need to do anything else if you’ve already told HMRC about your foreign income or assets and paid the UK tax due.

If you find you’ve got undeclared foreign income or assets, you’ll need to make a disclosure to HMRC.

Disclose any undeclared foreign income

If you check your offshore tax affairs and find undeclared money or assets abroad, you’ll need to tell HMRC by making a disclosure. You can do this through HMRC’s Worldwide Disclosure Facility.

To make a disclosure you’ll need to:

When you register for the facility, you ‘notify HMRC of your intent to disclose’. You’ll have 90 days to make your disclosure from the date you register.

You could be charged further penalties if you don’t declare foreign income or assets, so it’s better to tell HMRC as soon as possible. Making a disclosure could help reduce the amount of penalty you have to pay.

How to pay what you owe

You’ll need to pay the full amount you owe at the same time as you make the disclosure. You’ll get full details of how to pay during the disclosure process.

Published 28 October 2016