New tax crackdown targets health specialists

Chiropractors, chiropodists and acupuncturists who have not paid all the tax they owe are among the health professionals given until the end of the year to take a first step towards sorting out their tax affairs.

HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) launched its Health and Wellbeing Tax Plan on 7 October, offering health professionals who have not told HMRC about taxable income a time-limited opportunity to bring their tax affairs up-to-date on the best terms available or face further investigation of their tax affairs.

The campaign is targeting physiotherapists, occupational therapists, chiropractors, osteopaths, chiropodists and podiatrists. Homeopaths, dieticians, nutritional therapists, reflexologists, acupuncturists, psychologists, and speech, language and art therapists are also covered but doctors, dentists, nurses and social workers are excluded.

Health professionals have until 31 December 2013 to tell HMRC that they would like to take part in the campaign and until 6 April 2014 to disclose and pay tax owed. If they do so, any penalty they might have to pay will be lower than if HMRC has to come to them first.

After 31 December, HMRC will take a much closer look at the tax affairs of these health professionals. Marian Wilson, head of HMRC campaigns, warned: “After the opportunity closes on 6 April, HMRC will use information it holds from third parties and regulatory bodies to identify people who have not paid what they owe. Penalties – or even criminal prosecution – could follow.”

With the government and HMRC intent on closing the UK tax gap – the difference between tax owed and tax collected – the range of tax campaigns and tax investigations is likely to continue to grow.

In the event of a tax investigation, working with the experts at Taxation-Investigation can help to clarify the taxpayer’s position and identify their options. We’ll provide constructive advice and support, enabling taxpayers to focus on their day-to-day affairs while we liaise with HMRC inspectors to bring the investigation to a satisfactory conclusion. Where tax affairs are in order, we will argue the case robustly and we will also negotiate any settlement necessary with a view to minimising HMRC claims for any tax and penalties.