HM Revenue & Customs have encouraged medical professionals to get their tax affairs in order and disclose any undeclared income and tax liabilities.
HM Revenue & Customs say those who make a voluntary disclosure before 31 March 2010 will benefit from putting their tax affairs in order "simply and on the best available terms."
After that date, the Revenue will carry out targeted investigations aimed at medical professionals who have not come forward. Substantial penalties (e.g., up to 100% fines on the tax due) or even criminal prosecution could follow for those who have undeclared tax liabilities.
"Our aim is to make it as easy as possible for people to come forward, make a full disclosure and benefit from the certainty of a reduced 10% penalty that HM Revenue & Customs is making available to those who qualify.
"From April we will be using the information at our disposal to investigate medical professionals who have not declared their full income. I therefore strongly urge any in this group who think they may have outstanding tax liabilities on their income to get in touch.
"This is the first step in enabling those with undisclosed income or gains to avoid a full tax investigation together with much higher penalties. The message is clear: contact us before we contact you."
The Tax Health Plan will operate in two stages:
- From 11 January to 31 March 2010, medical professionals can register their intention to make a voluntary disclosure with HM Revenue & Customs.
- By 30 June, those who have registered must have made their disclosure as well as arrangements to pay all tax interest and penalties due.
"The Plan is targeting a problem that does exist. I've acted for a number of health professionals making tax disclosures of unearned income in the past," Gary Ashford of the Chartered Institute of Taxation told BBC News.
And Stephen Camm of PricewaterhouseCoopers added: "The plan applies to individuals including doctors, dentists, hospital consultants and cosmetic surgeons and offers the certainty of a reduced penalty of 10%. Moreover, it "also removes the prospect of prosecution or public 'naming and shaming'."
** Additional Information & Advice **
You can obtain further information about tax affairs on FindLaw.
Depending on your circumstances, however, it may be a good idea to speak with a tax law solicitor. You can be matched with a solicitor for free via solicitor matching services, which can also help you to understand the best course of action for your situation and whether you are ready to hire a solicitor.