The Health and Wellbeing Tax Plan
HRMC recently announced that health and wellbeing professionals are the latest group to be targeted for tax evasion. The current round of HMRC’s campaigns against tax avoidance started with the Offshore Disclosure Facility (ODF) in 2007, which targeted taxpayers with unpaid taxes linked to offshore accounts or assets. HMRC’s approach since then has revolved round specific campaigns rather than general tax amnesties. HMRC have so far selected tax payers including: plumbers, taxpayers with off-shore accounts, restaurants and members of the medical profession.
The health and wellbeing campaign is not aimed at doctors and dentists, who have already been dealt by a separate HMRC campaign, nor at nurses or social workers. However, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, chiropractors, osteopaths, chiropodists, podiatrists, homeopaths, dieticians, nutritional therapists, reflexologists, acupuncturists, psychologists, and speech, language and art therapists together with other similar fields are covered by the plan.
The tax plan offers an opportunity for relevant professionals to disclose undeclared income and bring their tax affairs up to date. As a first step, qualifying taxpayers must notify HMRC by31 December 2013 of their intention to take part in the disclosure opportunity. An actual disclosures along with an arrangement to make payment of all tax, interest and penalties due must be made by 6 April 2014.
Making a disclosure to HMRC as part of any of the campaigns will allow taxpayers to take advantage of the best possible terms. Once the time limit for a specific campaign has expired HMRC will focus on the non-compliant taxpayers who chose not to take up the opportunity to avail of the campaign. Any individual or business that has deliberately evaded tax should take immediate action to make a pre-emptive voluntary disclosure to HMRC.