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Doctors and Dentists Asked to Confess

Newsletter issue - February 2010.

In our January newsletter we told you about the Taxman's crackdown on undeclared commissions. On 11 January 2010 he launched a scheme to encourage medical professionals to disclose all their undeclared income, including commissions and any other income that hasn't been shown on their tax returns. This scheme is called the Tax Health Plan, but at present it is only open to medical doctors who are registered with the General Medical Council (GMC), and to qualified dentists.

If you are a doctor or dentist, and you want to come clean to the Taxman you need to register your intention to make a disclosure under the Tax Health Plan by 31 March 2010. You will then have to present the full disclosure report and pay all the tax, interest and penalties due by 30 June 2010. We can help you calculate what is due and to complete the disclosure forms necessary. The main advantage of using this scheme is the penalties due will be nil if the unpaid tax is less than £1,000, and will be limited to 10% of the unpaid tax in other cases.

If you fail to make a full disclosure under the Tax Health Plan and the Taxman then investigates your tax affairs, the penalties charged are likely to range from 30% to 100% of the tax due. You cannot take advantage of the low penalties under the Tax Health Plan if you could have made a full disclosure under one of the off-shore disclosure schemes in 2007 or 2009/10. In that case you have missed the boat, and any disclosure you make now will be subject to higher penalties on the tax due.

If you are a medical professional with undeclared income, but not a registered doctor or dentist, wait a few weeks to see if the Taxman will widen the Tax Health Plan to include you. Other professionals should probably also wait a while before approaching the Taxman about any undeclared income, as he said the Tax Health Plan would be the first of a number of schemes aimed at different professional groups. In the meantime if you have doubts about whether you have correctly declared all of your taxable income, please speak to us as soon as possible.