Solicitors’ tax campaign launched
A new tax campaign aimed at providing solicitors with an opportunity to regularise their tax affairs has been launched by HMRC. The Solicitors’ Tax Campaign offers a chance for solicitors to disclose undeclared income and bring their tax affairs up to date. As a first step, solicitors who want to take part in the campaign must notify HMRC by 9 March 2015 of their intention to take part in the disclosure opportunity. An actual disclosure along with an arrangement to make payment of all tax, interest and penalties owed must be made by 9 June 2015.
Making a disclosure can significantly reduce the amount of penalties due and should avoid the possibility of criminal investigations taking place. Most disclosures under the plan will be subject to a penalty rate of 0%, 10% or 20% depending on the circumstances. Solicitors who currently have undisclosed taxable income are strongly advised to consider the benefits of making a disclosure under the plan.
HMRC will begin investigating those who have failed to come forward after the 9 March 2015 notification period ends. Anyone found to have undisclosed liabilities will face substantial penalties of up to 100% and possible criminal investigation.
Commenting on the introduction of the new campaign, Caroline Addison of HMRC, 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.’