Belfast Telegraph

Solicitors the latest group targeted in HMRC tax clampdown

Previously medical and health professionals, plumbers, tutors, coaches, electricians, online traders, and landlords have been targeted by HMRC campaigns

By Amanda Ferguson

HM Revenue & Customs says solicitors are being targeted in a new tax clampdown.

Solicitors "are being given the chance to bring their tax affairs up to date or face tougher penalties" as part of a new tax campaign.

HMRC says The Solicitors’ Tax Campaign is the latest "voluntary, intelligence-led disclosure opportunity giving specific groups of taxpayers the chance to get their tax affairs in order on the best terms available".

Previous campaigns have included medical professionals, plumbers, tutors and coaches, electricians, online traders, landlords and health professionals.

This approach has so far raised almost £1 billion by HMRC.

Solicitors have until March 9, 2015 to tell HMRC that they would like to take part in the campaign, and until June 9 2015 to disclose the tax they owe and pay it.

By using this campaign to come forward voluntarily, any penalties they might have to pay will be lower than if HMRC has to approach them first.

Caroline Addison, HMRC head of campaigns said: “Information gathered by HMRC has allowed us to identify solicitors who thought they could operate without declaring income and paying the taxes that others have to pay.

“If you have not declared all of your income, you need to put your tax affairs in order.

"Take this chance to come forward and put things right in a straightforward way and on the best possible terms. It will be easier and cheaper for you to come to us than for us to come to you.

“Those who make a deliberate decision not to pay the taxes due could face a penalty of 100% or more of the tax due, or even a criminal prosecution.”
 

Solicitors can take part in the Solicitors’ Tax Campaign by:

  • Telling HMRC they want to take part in the campaign by March 9 2015

  • Disclosing details and paying what they owe by 9 June 9 2015
     

  • For more details solicitors can phone a dedicated helpline on 0300 013 4749 or visit www.gov.uk/solicitors-tax-campaign

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