Tax Health Plan brings in further £1m

LETTERS SENT TO medics in May 2011 following the end of the Tax Health Plan (THP) have resulted in £1m being promised to HM Revenue & Customs.

The THP, which gave doctors and dentists and opportunity to disclose any irregular tax affairs, ended in March 2010; it brought in £10m overall, including £1m from one doctor.

In May and June this year, HMRC started its “second wave” of the THP, sending letters to medics “where there is concern around their compliance”. The letters requested the medics to make contact with HMRC within 21 days. Since the letters were sent, £1m has been promised from recipients.

Guy Smith, senior tax consultant at Abbey Tax Protection, said that the Taxman had not sent copies of the letters to the taxpayers’ accountants, despite form 64-8 authorising the advisors to receive them.

A HMRC spokesman said that there is a difference between the disclosure facility and the day-to-day management of the taxpayer’s accounts that is the focus of form 64-8.

The spokesman commented: “We recognise that a disclosure of previous irregularities is quite different from the day-to-day management of a customer’s tax affairs and for that reason some customers may want to appoint an agent specifically to deal with their disclosure.

“If they haven’t told their agent about the money and it hasn’t been included in their previous returns because of that, they may not wish to do so now. HMRC’s relationship is with the customer who has to pay tax [and] not with the agent, so we are giving them the opportunity to confirm the name of any agent they want to get involved.”

However, Smith said that some doctors will not trouble their accountants with these letters. He commented that he had come across a case of one doctor who received a letter where the discrepancy was “purely a timing difference” and there was no omitted income.

Smith added: “How many other doctors have received these letters and not gone back to their accountants but simply assumed HMRC is correct and paid a sum over?

“If the doctors had shown their letters to their accountants and given them a chance to check what had been declared and in which year, would HMRC still have got a further £1m in?”

“Some doctors just don’t want the hassle and are too busy to go through their records to double-check and simply pay up to get HMRC off their backs.”

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