HMRC targets solicitors with unpaid tax bills

The latest taxpayers to be targeted by the HMRC are solicitors, who have been given the opportunity to disclose unpaid and undeclared tax in a three-month campaign launched today. This is aimed exclusively at individuals who work in the legal profession as solicitors

The solicitors' tax campaign is described as ‘an opportunity for individuals who work within the legal profession as a solicitor to bring their affairs up to date in a simple, straightforward way and take advantage of the best possible terms’.

This voluntary disclosure opportunity runs from 8 December 2014 to 9 June 2015, and 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 says solicitors who have not previously told HMRC about all past income, gains or undisclosed liabilities now have the chance to pay any tax owed. 

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.

Anyone making a full disclosure under the solicitors’ tax campaign will be eligible to pay a smaller penalty for previous non-payment of tax. While penalties can normally be up to 100% of the tax liability, the rates are usually 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.

Previous HMRC campaigns have targeted medical professionals and doctors, plumbers, tutors and coaches, electricians, online traders, landlords and health professionals and have so far raised almost £1bn from voluntary disclosures and follow-up activity by HMRC.

 Details of the Solicitors' Tax campaign are available here

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