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Solicitors given final opportunity to make tax declarations

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

4 June 2015

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HMRC has reminded solicitors that they have less than a week left to pay any outstanding tax due on their undeclared income, or expose themselves to substantial fines.

Solicitors have until 9 June to make their declarations.

The penalties for voluntary declaration 'will be lower than if HMRC has to investigate their tax affairs [and] anyone who does not pay what they owe faces a penalty of up to 100 per cent of the tax due or more if it is offshore income'.

Caroline Addison, head of campaigns for HMRC, commented: '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.

The solicitors' tax campaign was launched in December 2014 and is the latest in a line of voluntary disclosure opportunities for specific groups of taxpayers.

Medical professionals, plumbers, electricians, online traders, landlords and health professionals have previously been targeted. The campaigns and have raised over £1bn.

Tax credits

Meanwhile HMRC has urged everyone who claims tax credits to make their claim online and well in advance of the 31 July deadline.

For the first time claimants will be able to renew their claims online regardless of the changes in circumstance that they have to report, whereas previously, they could only be done over the phone or through the post.

The tax authority is keen for the new capabilities of its digital reporting system to be utilised and avoid lengthy reporting procedures and subsequent disputes.

Nick Lodge, HMRC's director general for benefits and credits, said: 'This is an exceptionally busy time of the year for HMRC, as millions of people renew their tax credits. Phone lines may be very busy with long wait times possible.

'Using our online service means that you can renew at any time of the day or night and on any device, without having to call us at all. Online help can also answer most queries or issues that you may have. We urge everyone who can, to go online.'


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Legal services Tax & Wealth structuring