HMRC set to step up tax crackdown on solicitors

The deadline has now passed for solicitors targeted by an HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) campaign to pay any tax they owed.

The Solicitors’ Tax Campaign, which was launched on 8 December, was the latest in a series of HMRC initiatives giving specific groups of taxpayers the chance to put their tax affairs in order on the best terms available.

Previous campaigns, which have included medical professionals, landlords and health professionals, have so far raised almost £1 billion from voluntary disclosures and follow-up activity by HMRC.

Solicitors had until 9 March 2015 to tell HMRC that they would like to take part in the campaign, and until 9 June 2015 to disclose and pay any tax owed.

HMRC said that by coming forward voluntarily, any penalties that might be payable would be lower than if HMRC approached someone first.

Individuals who have failed to come forward could face a penalty of 100 per cent or more of the tax due, or more if it is offshore income, or even a criminal prosecution.

Caroline Addison, head of campaigns at HMRC, said on 2 June: “We will not hesitate to investigate and penalise those still evading tax they owe once this opportunity passes.”

Moore Thompson’s tax specialists can provide expert advice to assist solicitors, or their clients, seeking to regularise their tax affairs with HMRC and mitigating outcomes, with the aim of reaching a satisfactory outcome as quickly and cost effectively as possible. For more information, please contact us.