New disclosure opportunity – Medical Professionals
Doctors, dentists and other medical professionals are being specifically targeted by HMRC. It has launched, what it calls, a new ‘Tax Health Plan’. This is actually an invitation for health professionals to disclose previously undeclared income and to bring their tax affairs up to date.
In effect medical professionals are being provided with the best opportunity they will ever have to regularise their tax affairs with the promise of a minimal penalty. And HMRC are making the facility available because of the information they have about the level of previously undisclosed income and excessive expenses claimed by some medical professionals.
Although sometimes referred to as an ‘amnesty’ the new facility only refers to special treatment as regards the penalties otherwise payable when someone agrees to pay tax on previously undeclared income. All the tax will be payable as will interest in respect of the late payment. However the penalties, that might otherwise be as high as 100% of the tax, will be capped at 10%.
HMRC initially require an intention to disclose which must be made before 31 March 2010. Actual disclosures along with arrangements to pay all tax, interest and the penalties due must be made by 30 June 2010. The 10% penalty will only be available if full disclosure is made by medical professionals within the stated deadlines.
HMRC’s Director of Risk and Intelligence commented that "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."
In certain cases the penalties could be up to 100% and in exceptional circumstances criminal investigations may take place. Medical professionals who currently have undisclosed taxable income are advised to take action immediately.