HMRC warns medics to come clean about tax evasion

Accountants may be interested to learn that HMRC is giving doctors and dentists one last chance to rectify their tax affairs or face a possible criminal investigation.

HMRC launched its Tax Health Plan back in 2008. Medics were offered the chance to settle their outstanding tax liabilities under attractive terms and the initiative yielded about £10 million. One doctor paid the Revenue £1 million!

Last week, 2,500 individuals were sent letters warning that HMRC knows they have outstanding liabilities and this is their final chance to come forward. Furthermore, the Revenue acknowledges that an oversight might have been the reason why the taxpayer did not contact them earlier but failure to act on the current letter will be treated as an active decision.

Doctors and dentists have 21 days to respond to the letter or face large additional charges. The letters also warn that their case may be referred to Criminal Investigations and could result in prosecution.

Gary Ashford from RSM Tenon explained that only about 1,500 medics came forward under the original Tax Health Plan. HMRC had warned that it held data on tens of thousands of individuals but medics may not have taken this warning seriously.

These latest letters hit hard and it is obvious that the government department is sticking with the information it holds. This marks a key moment in the battle against tax evasion and gives the Revenue the opportunity to demonstrate that its campaigns against tax evasion really do bite, he added.

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