Following the announcement this week by HMRC that they will be offering medical professionals the opportunity to disclose any unpaid tax, the Chartered Institute of Taxation (CIOT) stated that they believe the scheme will be rolled out to all taxpayers in the interests of fairness.
The scheme allows medical professionals the opportunity to disclose arrears to HMRC in return for a reduced penalty of ten per cent. Anyone not making a disclosure who is believed to owe tax will be subject to investigation and a 100 per cent penalty on top of any tax owed plus interest.
HMRC have also recently offered disclosure opportunities to those holding money or assets offshore. These schemes are designed to assist HMRC in recouping the tax that is evaded year on year.
Chair of CIOT, Gary Ashford, said: “Whilst we welcome HMRC encouraging people to get their tax affairs in order, there is a measure of unfairness in offering a deal to one sector of the population and not to others. Surely it would be better to have a general arrangement available to all and a concerted effort by HMRC to get their message over?”
He continued: “It would be sensible to consider a genuine one off disclosure for everyone. And one that lasts sufficiently long and is sufficiently attractive to get people to come forward. This could enable them to clean the slate before the advent of the harsher ‘Naming and Shaming’ rules that come in from April 2010.”