Voluntary Tax Disclosure Scheme Launched For Solicitors

Tax Expert Urges Legal Profession To Consider Benefits Of Using New Scheme


David Shirt, Press Officer | 0161 838 3094

Solicitors have today become the latest profession to be targeted by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC).

Aimed at people working within the legal profession as a Solicitor, those wishing to take part in the voluntary tax disclosure scheme must notify HMRC by next March and pay any tax that is owed by June 2015.

By doing this HMRC says individuals will have a number of guarantees.

These include the ability to spread tax payments over a period rather than paying in one lump sum.

HMRC also says that if an individual has simply made a careless mistake with their tax, they only pay for a maximum of six years irrespective of how far behind the person is with their tax affairs.

If an individual, however, doesn’t come forward and HMRC finds later that they are behind with their tax, HMRC claims it may be harder to convince them that it was simply a mistake. Currently the law allows HMRC to go back up to 20 years in serious cases and HMRC may carry out a criminal investigation.

Gary Clarkson, tax specialist at national law firm Irwin Mitchell, said:

“HMRC’s decision to target a certain profession is usually based on their own internal data gathering. Their systems are very sophisticated nowadays and with tough tax collection targets to meet, I think it’s very likely that it will soon be taking a hardline approach to Solicitors who it believes are not declaring their tax accurately. 

“It is important that Solicitors who are in any doubt about their tax affairs consider this scheme and seek advice where needed. There is a limited timeframe to notify HMRC and as always, opening up a dialogue with the authorities early is always looked at far more favourably by HMRC than taking no action at all.”