H M Revenue & Customs (HMRC) is launching a new disclosure opportunity, this time aimed specifically at businesses evading VAT.

The initiative is aimed at businesses not registered for VAT but who are in fact been trading above the turnover threshold, currently £73,000 in a 12 month period.

In a similar vain to previous facilities, beneficial terms are on offer. HMRC states that most (but interestingly, not all) businesses making a full disclosure of under-declared VAT will pay a lower than normal penalty rate of 10% in addition to the tax and interest. Businesses must notify their intention to disclose by 30 September 2011 and then actually make a full disclosure and pay the additional liabilities, including the penalty, by 31 December 2011.

HMRC, in time-honoured fashion, has promised to begin investigating those who fail to come forward after the initial deadline passes on 30 September 2011, where it suspects evasion.

The announcement also promises to look favourably on the disclosure of other taxes associated with the trade, citing lower than normal, albeit unspecified, levels of penalties.