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HMRC targets solicitors in new campaign

Posted: December 12, 2014

HMRC has published details of a targeted campaign, which runs from 8 December 2014 to 9 June 2015, to encourage tax compliance by individuals who work within the legal profession as a solicitor.

This voluntary disclosure opportunity is available for solicitors working for themselves in their own business; within a partnership of limited liability company; or within or as a company.

HMRC say solicitors who have not previously told HMRC about all past income, gains or undisclosed liabilities now have the chance to pay any tax owed. The campaign will cover past tax affairs up to 5 April 2013.

Anyone who wants to take part, either for themselves or on behalf of someone else or a company, must notify HMRC by 9 March 2015 of their intention to make a disclosure and then make that disclosure, and full payment, by 9 June 2015.

Those who do so will be able to tell HMRC how much penalty they believe they should pay; have the option of spreading their payments if they cannot afford a lump sum payment; and, if they have made a careless mistake, pay only a maximum of 6 years regardless of the number of years they have been behind with their tax affairs.

Penalties are normally up to 100% of the tax liability, but under the Solicitors’ Tax Campaign, the rates are lower and vary from 0%, 10%, or 20% depending on the circumstances.

HMRC makes clear that certain disclosures are unlikely to be accepted under the Solicitors’ Tax Campaign, including any that are found to be materially incorrect or incomplete; any disclosure from individuals who are already subject to ongoing enquiry or compliance checks; if HMRC believes the money that is the subject of the disclosure is the proceeds of serious organised crime; or if the individual concerned was eligible for any previous HMRC disclosure opportunity but did not come forward at that time.