Navigating HMRC’s Worldwide Disclosure Facility: A Guide for Small Business Owners

For small business owners, understanding and complying with tax regulations is a fundamental part of running a successful business. The HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) Worldwide Disclosure Facility (WDF) offers a crucial avenue for disclosing foreign income or assets that may not have been previously reported. This guide aims to demystify the WDF process, ensuring that you, as a small business owner, are well-equipped to handle these disclosures confidently and compliantly. 

Worldwide Finance

The HMRC’s WDF is designed for taxpayers who need to disclose a UK tax liability relating to offshore interests. The facility provides a straightforward process to declare any unpaid taxes on foreign income or assets. It’s important for small business owners to understand that this facility is not just for large corporations; it applies to any UK taxpayer with international dealings, no matter the size of your business.

We’re committed to guiding our clients through the complexities of HMRC’s Worldwide Disclosure Facility. It is important to be aware that HMRC may refuse your application if they suspect the assets or funds involved are derived from criminal activities. Additionally, disclosures by those under current enquiry or involved in tax avoidance schemes will be closely scrutinised, and previous settlements could lead to further investigation and potentially higher penalties. Our team is here to help you navigate these requirements. 

Who Should Use the WDF?

1. Businesses with overseas operations or assets 

2. |ndividuals or entities that have invested in foreign companies

3. Taxpayers who have not declared foreign income, such as rental income from overseas property

The Benefits of Disclosure:

Disclosing voluntarily through the WDF ensures that you are fully compliant with UK tax laws and will lead to lower penalties than if HMRC discovers the non-compliance themselves. You can have peace of mind that you are correctly maintaining your tax affairs, which will allow you to focus on growing your business. 

How to Make a Disclosure:

Check eligibility: Ensure that your circumstances fit the criteria for using the WDF

Gather information: Compile all necessary documentation related to your foreign income and assets

Make the disclosure: This can be done online via HMRC website. It involves providing details about yourself, your business, and nature of the disclosure

Pay what you owe: After disclosing, you’ll need to pay the tax owed, plus any interest and penalties

Key Considerations:

Time limits: There are strict deadlines for making a disclosure and paying what you owe. You have 90 days from the date you notify HMRC of your intention to submit disclosure and make payment.

Accuracy: Ensure all information provided is accurate to avoid further complications

Information required: You will need all personal and business details, details of foreign income/assets (with evidence such as bank statements), tax calculations and explanation of previous non-disclosure

Professional advice: It’s advisable to seek professional help from accountancy experts like Practical Business Solutions to guide you through the process

Full details can be found on