HMRC gives solicitors a week to ‘pay up or else’

Print This Post

3 June 2015


HMRC

HMRC: solicitors must “abide by the law”

HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) has given solicitors a week to pay the tax they owe on undeclared income or “face hefty penalties”.

A spokesman for HMRC said solicitors who failed to come forward voluntarily faced paying penalties of 100% on the unpaid tax and a criminal investigation.

“The penalty would normally be between 0% and 20%, depending on circumstances,” he said.

“Solicitors who do not come forward but are found to have unpaid tax liabilities will face higher penalties, rising to 100% of the tax unpaid or, possibly, criminal investigation. Penalties for offshore-related income can be up to 200%.”

The solicitors’ tax campaign, launched in December last year, is the HMRC’s latest “voluntary disclosure opportunity”, following campaigns aimed at medical professionals, plumbers, tutors, electricians, landlords and others.

HMRC said the campaigns had raised over £1bn from voluntary disclosures and follow-ups. Solicitors were given until 9 March this year to tell HMRC that they would like to take part in the campaign.

The spokesman said solicitors who made a full disclosure of tax owed would be offered a “simple and straightforward way” to put their tax affairs right, and online tools were available to help them work out how much they owe.

He said previous campaigns resulted in a number of criminal investigations and the conviction of 14 people for cheating the Revenue.

Caroline Addison, head of campaigns at HMRC, added: “This disclosure scheme gives firms a fair chance to come forward and avoid tough penalties, but we will not hesitate to investigate and penalise those still evading tax they owe once this opportunity passes.

“We don’t think it’s too much to ask that solicitors abide by the law and pay the tax they owe.”

For more information, solicitors can phone a dedicated helpline on 0300 013 4749 or visit www.gov.uk/solicitors-tax-campaign. The deadline is 9 June 2015.

Tags: , ,



Leave a comment

* Denotes required field

All comments will be moderated before posting. Please see our Terms and Conditions

Legal Futures Blog

GDPR and the rise of ‘datanapping’ – the new threat to the pockets of law firms

Nigel Wright

You’ve heard about ransomware – a hacker infiltrates your IT systems, locking them down until you pay a ransom. Some studies now estimate that over 50% of businesses have experienced this type of attack in the last year, and it’s particularly prevalent within the legal sector. Previously, firms could protect themselves by having a solid disaster recovery plan in place to ensure they can get back up and running in the event of a disruption. However, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) – the new EU-wide regime which comes in effect on 25 May 2018, irrespective of Brexit – means that this approach alone is no longer adequate and security measures must be strengthened to prevent attacks.

April 21st, 2017