HM Revenue & Customs has brought in a contractual disclosure facility that allows people suspected of serious tax fraud to come clean without being criminally investigated and prosecuted.
It will give people suspected of fraud the option to admit fraud and disclose the details within 60 days. It will then investigate the case using civil powers and settle outstanding bills, including interest and penalties.
Those under suspicion who refuse to sign up to the CDF will face a full investigation by HMRC. Anyone who signs the contract but does not go on to admit and disclose fraud, will also face the possibility of a criminal investigation.
People who are not under investigation can opt to volunteer information. HMRC says it will decide which of these cases can be dealt with under the CDF.
The disclosure facility, which launched last week, is a result of an HMRC consultation launched last July.
Treasury exchequer secretary David Gauke says: “This new facility is a valuable tool which will help HMRC in its fight against fraud.”