The new Worldwide Disclosure Facility (WDF) replaces previous disclosure schemes such as the Liechtenstein Disclosure Facility and the Crown Dependencies Disclosure Facilities. The Liechtenstein Disclosure Facility, which closed at the end of 2015, provided UK residents with undeclared tax liabilities a unique opportunity to settle and regularise their tax affairs with HMRC on favourable terms and immunity from prosecution.
The new Worldwide Disclosure Facility (WDF), available from 5 September 2016, will allow anyone wishing to disclose a UK tax liability relating wholly or partly to an offshore issue. This includes:-
The launch of the WDF is linked to the implementation of the Common Reporting Standard (CRS), an international initiative where over 100 countries will exchange tax payer information on a multilateral basis. The aim of the CRS is to crack down on the use of offshore jurisdictions to facilitate tax evasion.
In recent months, HMRC has issued letters to individuals are belived to have offshore income and gains that could be liable to UK tax. Most of these letters were issued after 30 September 2018, when HMRC received received bank account data under Common Reporting Standard (CRS).