HMRC are inviting those who work in the field of health and wellbeing, such as physical therapy, alternative medicine or therapy and other forms of therapy, and who do not currently pay the right amount of tax, to make a voluntary disclosure, reports chartered accountants Northampton Harris & Co.
This voluntary disclosure opportunity, which is open to health and wellbeing professionals such as physiotherapists, chiropractors, chiropodists, speech therapists and those involved in alternative medicine like homeopathy and acupuncture, will run from 7 October 2013 to 6 April 2014.
HMRC guarantee that those who notify HMRC of their intention to disclose by 31 December 2013 and make their disclosure and payment by 6 April 2014 will be able to tell HMRC how much penalty they believe they should pay; be able to spread their payments if circumstances warrant it; and if they have simply made a careless mistake, they will only pay for a maximum of 6 years - no matter how many years they have been behind with their tax affairs. Those who cooperate fully can also avoid having their personal details published.
In their guide ‘Health and Wellbeing Tax Plan: Your guide to making a disclosure’, HMRC say that penalties, if any, under voluntary disclosure, are likely to be lower than if HMRC found out on their own that insufficient tax has been paid. A reduction of any relevant penalties will be dependent on the quality of disclosure.
A personal disclosure; a disclosure on behalf of a company or trust; or a disclosure as a personal representative of a deceased person can be made under the Health & Wellbeing Tax Plan, which is made up of 2 stages: (i) the notification by 31 December 2013 and (ii) disclosure and full payment by 6 April 2014. Those who miss the notification deadline of 31 December 2013 can still make a disclosure, but this could affect the amount of penalty payable.
HMRC say they cannot offer immunity from prosecution for very serious tax problems, but an important factor when they are deciding whether to carry out criminal investigations into cases of tax fraud is whether a complete and unprompted disclosure of any amounts evaded or improperly reclaimed has been made.