In the latest of this series of voluntary tax disclosure campaigns HM Revenue and Customs have now targeted solicitors. Any solicitors who have undeclared taxable income or gains can use the campaign in order to avoid prosecution and take advantage of favourable penalty terms.
HMRC have a rolling series of tax disclosure campaigns. However, this latest campaign is a remarkable step for HMRC. Previously the taxman has taken the view that members of the legal profession who have deliberately underpaid tax fall into the so-called “heinous” category: and were automatically considered for prosecution. In this particular instance, HMRC are taking the unprecedented step of allowing solicitors, who have committed tax evasion, to put their tax affairs in order without the risk of criminal sanctions.
HMRC’s 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”. Solicitors have until 9 March 2015 register for the campaign, and then until 9 June 2015 to disclose their irregularities and pay the tax, interest and penalties.
HMRC warn that: “Those who make a deliberate decision not to pay the taxes due could face a criminal prosecution.”
What does it mean for me?
If you are a solicitor and have historic tax irregularities, then this could represent a superb opportunity to put your affairs in order. Whilst the campaign process can be straightforward there are particular issues for solicitors to consider, and you may wish to consider taking specialist advice: much as your clients take specialist advice from you.
How can Lynam Tax Disclosure Experts help me?
Lynam Tax disclosure specialists have a vast amount of practical experience in managing tax disclosures: including through the various Campaigns and also the Offshore Disclosure Facilities. We can advise you on the best course of action and if appropriate, help you manage any necessary disclosures, in order to obtain the optimum outcome for you.
*For a free, private, no obligation consultation, call Paul Lynam today on 0845 643 9997
or Andrew Nutbrown on 07718 778710