HMRC have announced another new campaign, this time it is aimed at individuals who have previously sold a residential property either in the UK or abroad which is not their principal private residence and of which they have not informed HMRC of the sale.
HMRC are clearly looking at when a second property is sold which is not the main residence, on which the disposal proceeds of this asset are subject to capital gains tax on any gain (profit). That said, with the state of the housing market, any sales of second homes in recent years may result in a loss as opposed to a gain.
This is another good opportunity for individuals to put their tax affairs in order. It should be noted that where losses have been made these can be offset against future gains, just be aware of the time limits, you have 4 years from the end of the tax year when you make a loss in which make a claiming, so don't miss the boat.
The campaign commenced on 5 March 2013 and individuals have until 9 August 2013 to notify their intention to make a disclosure with all disclosures being submitted to HMRC by 6 September 2013.
This campaign does not offer any enhanced penalty terms, other than making a voluntary disclosure, and there is no guarantee of immunity from prosecution for the tax offence. With this in mind individuals may wish to consider making a disclosure to HMRC under the terms of the Liechtenstein Disclosure Facility where reduced penalties may be available and an immunity from prosecution secured.
Donâ€™t forget, HMRC have a number of ways to obtain information regarding property transactions, these include Stamp Duty Land Tax forms, Land Registry, third party notices to estate agents and conveyance solicitors, third party notices to banks, information obtained as part of overseas bank initiatives, property websites etc., as you can see there really is little chance to hide, take advantage now and come clean.