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This in from Qdos Peninsula Taxwise, who underwrite our Professional Expenses Cover scheme (formerly Tax Enquiry Insurance):

 HMRC have now moved to the next stage of its activity under the Tax Health Plan (THP) which was originally launched in May 2008. The THP, which gave doctors and dentists and opportunity to disclose any irregular tax affairs, ended in March 2010 and HMRC claim it resulted in an additional tax yield in excess of £10m.

Anyone who thought the THP was now a thing of the past; are mistaken. HMRC will now begin writing to doctors and dentists this week in the next phase of its targeting of the medical and dental professions. HMRC plan to issue 2,500 letters to be sent out this week, varying according to the individual’s circumstances. The letters warn: “We know you have outstanding tax returns”, this is your “final opportunity” to come forward, and HMRC add. “Your failure to contact us in the past may have been an oversight. However, if you do not respond to this letter, we will treat it as an active choice.”

The letters advise taxpayers that they will be given 21 days to respond and if they do not, they face “significant additional charges”. The letters go on to add: “Alternatively, HMRC may refer your case to Criminal Investigations with a view to prosecution.”

It is thought that as a result of the THP approximately 1500 voluntary disclosures were made under the scheme. However, when HMRC launched the initiative they claimed to have information on tens of thousands of names and addresses. This may suggest that the medical and dental professions did not take HMRC seriously. This latest action would appear to indicate that HMRC are standing by the information they claim to hold and the letters that are now being issued are certainly hard hitting.

The success of the THP would appear to be essential to HMRC to ensure that other voluntary disclosure schemes are taken seriously and not as just a toothless attempt to increase yield.

For further help or guidance please contact the Tax/VAT Advice Line on 01455 825550.