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Solicitors' Tax Campaign launched this week

The Government has this week launched its Solicitors’ Tax Campaign, designed for those who work within the legal profession as a solicitor who want to bring their tax affairs up-to-date.

Solicitors that haven’t yet informed HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) about their past income, gains and undisclosed liabilities.

HMRC believes that its customers want to pay the right amount of tax and wants to aid those not paying the correct amount of tax to put that right.

How to disclose your taxes and duties

Solicitors working for themselves in their own business, within a partnership or limited liability partnership or within a company can notify their intent to disclose their outstanding taxes and duties by 9th March 2015 and make payment by 9th June 2015 to receive the following guarantees:

  • You can tell HMRC how much penalty you believe you should pay, what you pay will depend on why you have failed to disclose your income; if you’ve deliberately kept information from HMRC you will be asked to pay a higher penalty than if you’ve simply made an error.

  • If you can’t afford to pay what you owe in one lump sum, don’t panic: If your circumstances warrant it, you’ll be able to spread your payments.

  • If you’ve made a careless error you only pay a maximum of six years – no matter how many years you’re behind with your tax affairs; however, if you don’t come forward and HMRC finds later that you’re behind with your tax, it may be harder to convince HMRC it was simply a mistake.

Once you have notified HMRC of your intent to disclose your tax liabilities the tax authority will write to you to confirm your unique Disclosure Reference Number to use whenever you contact them about the Solicitors’ Tax Campaign.
You can make a disclosure as soon as you have your Disclosure Reference Number or at any time before 9th June 2015:

  • About your own tax affairs

  • On behalf of someone else

  • On behalf of your company

You can make your disclosure by:

  • Completing and submitting form DO2 Disclosure

  • Printing and posting the completed form

Jo Nockels, training and communications manager, TaxAssist Accountants, said: “If your affairs are all up-to-date and accurate, then you should have nothing to worry about.

“But if for any reason you have undisclosed tax or duties, you should consider using the Campaign to come forward.

“It’s always better to come clean with HMRC, as they will be willing to offer you the best possible terms for settlement. If you wait for HMRC to find you, the consequences could be much more severe – including criminal investigation.”

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