'Last chance' warning as tax amnesty fails to interest doctors

Doctors with undisclosed tax problems have been urged to come forward 'quickly' after only 1,500 of a potential 30,000 medical professionals took advantage of a tax amnesty scheme.

Earlier this year the HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) launched its 'tax health plan' (THP) sending letters to 30,000 medical professionals that it believed could have potential problems with their tax.

It said that if doctors come forward voluntarily face they will face a tax penalty of just 10% of the amount of tax owed.

If they do not take the opportunity offered under the THP, doctors could face a maximum of 100% of the tax owed (on top of full repayment of the debt and interest charged on it).

But the HMRC has now revealed that only that 1,500 individuals have made disclosures to date.

The HMRC is now urging more doctors to come forward ahead of 1 August before full investigations begin.

Once an investigation is underway there is no opportunity to voluntarily disclose, a HMRC spokeswoman outlined.

She said: ‘Anyone who has been evading tax should talk to us as a matter of urgency as voluntary disclosure always makes financial sense.’

Gary Ashford, chairman of the Chartered Institute of Taxation’s management of taxes committee, said he was surprised by the low number of professionals coming forward.

He said: ‘If only 1,500 [medical professionals] have come forward, that is a considerable surprise and suggests that either many professionals are not taking this seriously – or of course that HMRC have failed to get its message across properly.  

‘Any medical professional with undisclosed tax liabilities really should take advantage of this brief window to take advice and start getting their affairs in order. It’s clear to us that HMRC is intending to come down hard on defaulters.’

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