Medics getting threatening letters

HMRC is now writing to doctors and dentists as the second phase of the Tax Health Plan (THP) begins in earnest.

The THP was an incentivised disclosure scheme which the taxman offered for a limited period last year.  Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs say that they have solid information about income received but not declared by medics. There are now actively investigating hundreds of medical and dentistry practitioners who did not come forward as part of the Tax Health Plan – and also many who did come forward but where the taxman suspects them of not fully disclosing.

Hundreds of letters were sent out on 10 June 2011 stating: “The second phase of THP is happening now… Following up those who did not disclose or where there is concern around their compliance”. Further, HMRC have warned: “A contributing factor to my current opinion of your compliance being doubtful is the fact that information held by HMRC indicates that you have been in receipt of income but that you have not submitted details of tax returns to tell us of this fact”.  The letters come with a grim warning that is matters could be “referred to Criminal Investigations with a view to prosecution”.   Medics are asked to contact HMRC within 21 days of the date of the letter.

Anyone in receipt of this letter will have obvious concerns.  It may be that the information in the taxman’s possession is incomplete, inaccurate or misleading.  However, until HMRC is satisfied on that score it will continue the investigations.  Where the taxman believes that they do have strong evidence of the under-declaration of income then the matters may well end up in criminal prosecution.  HMRC has already announced that it is prosecuting six doctors who did not make full disclosures under the THP.

The best way to avoid criminal prosecution is to engage with HMRC on this issue.  This is a serious matter and anyone in receipt of such letters should seriously consider taking specialist advice.  If the correct action is taken as soon as possible favourable terms can still be negotiated with HMRC.

How can Lynam Tax Investigation Experts help me?
Lynam Tax partners have a vast amount of practical experience in managing tax investigations and tax enquiries.    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, your business and your family.

*For a free, private, no obligation consultation, call Paul or Gemma Lynam today on 0845 643 9997