Taxman targets tax-dodging doctors and dentists
HMRC is seeking taxable income regardless of where it is hidden
Doctors and other medical professionals are being targeted by HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) in a fresh campaign against tax dodgers.
If they make a full confession of past unpaid tax then their penalty will be just 10% of the unpaid money.
Medical professionals, including dentists, who want to take advantage of the offer, have to contact the Revenue by 31 March 2010.
They must then pay the past tax, plus interest and penalties, by 30 June.
A spokesman for the Revenue said the tax authorities had been gaining information about doctors, and others, from employers such as NHS trusts, private hospitals and medical insurance firms.
"There is a problem with a significant enough minority for us to provide this opportunity and the support that goes with it," he said.
"We are talking about well-paid people - higher rate taxpayers."
The Revenue's campaign, called the Tax Health Plan (THP), follows efforts to uncover taxable income that has been hidden by UK taxpayers in offshore bank accounts.
Its most recent offshore disclosure campaign, which closed earlier this month, flushed out a further 10,000 people who said they wanted to pay tax on income hidden abroad.
In the case of medical professionals, the HMRC is looking for taxable income regardless of where it has been hidden.
Anyone who does not come forward, but who is subsequently investigated and found to have been avoiding tax, may be fined up to 100% of their unpaid tax, with a minimum penalty of at least 30%.
"The THP is targeting a problem that does exist. I've acted for a number of health professionals making tax disclosures of unearned income in the past," said Gary Ashford of the Chartered Institute of Taxation (CIOT).
"Clearly other sectors may follow," he warned.
Stephen Camm, tax partner at accountants PwC, said: "The plan applies to individuals including doctors, dentists, hospital consultants and cosmetic surgeons and offers the certainty of a reduced penalty of 10%."
"It also removes the prospect of prosecution or public 'naming and shaming'."
Taken from: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/8451659.stm