Medical professionals are being encouraged under a new Tax Health Plan to tell HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) if they have understated income. Those who contact HMRC by 31 March 2010 to make a voluntary disclosure will be able to put their tax affairs in order simply and on the best available terms.
After that date, using information it holds about how much is paid to them, HMRC will carry out targeted investigations aimed at medical professionals who have not come forward. Substantial penalties or even criminal prosecution could follow for those who have undeclared tax liabilities.
Launching the campaign, Mike Wells, HMRC's Director of Risk and Intelligence, said:
"Our aim is to make it as easy as possible for people to come forward, make a full disclosure and benefit from the certainty of a reduced 10 per cent penalty that HMRC is making available to those who qualify for this opportunity.
"From April we will be using the information at our disposal to investigate medical professionals who have not declared their full income. I therefore strongly urge any in this group who think they may have outstanding tax liabilities on their income to get in touch with HMRC and get their tax affairs in order simply and on the best available terms.
"This is the first step in enabling those with undisclosed income or gains to avoid a full tax investigation together with much higher penalties. The message is clear: contact us before we contact you."
The Health Plan will operate in two stages:
- From 11 January to 31 March 2010, medical professionals can register their intention to make a voluntary disclosure with HMRC.
- By 30 June, those who have registered must have made their disclosure as well as arrangements to pay all tax interest and penalties due.
Disclosure can be made by telephone or email - full details are provided at the new web area devoted to the scheme.
HMRC has indicated that this is the first in a series of initiatives aimed at professionals. It is very likely that in each case the tax authority will be in posesssion of relaible information about income paid to the target group which will enable them to intiate a process of targetted compliance at the closure of the period allowed for disclosure. The tax helath plan comes with specific support resources aimed at the health profession, and the representative bodies are assisting the tax authority in providing support. FAQ's to support the scheme have been provided, and there is a special telephone line : 0845 600 4508 for prescriptive advice, lines are open Mon – Friday 8.00 am to 8.00pm.
Further reading: Is it fair to make other professionals 'wait their turn' in order to take advantage of tax amnesties asks RSM Tenon. Click here to read more.
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Rebecca trained in London with Kidsons and, on qualifying, spent some time as Chief Accountant of a manufacturing company. She now has her own small practice in Gloucestershire that comprises of owner managed businesses and small companies.
She also lectures extensively for a range of professional bodies, accountancy firms,...