HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) recently announced a new facility called the Tax Health Plan (THP) aimed at medical professionals to provide an opportunity to disclose all previously undeclared income in return for a reduced penalty.
HMRC has used its information powers to obtain information relating to medical professionals from various sources including NHS trusts, private hospitals and medical insurers and is now in a position to match that information against the returns of income made of medical professionals.
There is a small window of opportunity to make a full disclosure and benefit from a reduced penalty before HMRC acts on this information. To take advantage of this opportunity, medical professionals who have undeclared income need to:
· notify HMRC by 31 March 2010,
· make a full Disclosure by 30 June 2010 and then
· pay the outstanding tax, interest and a 10% penalty.
The facility covers the last 20 years up to 5 April 2008. Undeclared income after that date should be included in the 2009 return (deadline 31 January 2010).
Members of the General Medical Council (GMC), the General Dental Council and British Dental Association are covered by this but it is not clear whether the THP will extend to medical professionals who are members of other professional bodies. We are recommending that those in such a position should contact us without delay.
HMRC has stated that it will start to review the information it holds after 31 March 2010 and match it against returns made by the medical professional. Where there is a discrepancy it will open an enquiry or investigation and anyone found to have not declared under the THP faces higher penalties (at least 30%, but could be up to 100%). In the most serious cases HMRC will consider commencing a criminal investigation.
We recommend that all medical practitioners review their affairs and consider the opportunity as a matter of absolute urgency, the timeframe by which notification needs to be made is very short and the consequences of missing this will be costly.