Now that HM Revenue & Customs’ Tax Return Initiative campaign for higher rate taxpayers has started, busy healthcare professionals need to ensure that they have completed their 2009-2010 or earlier tax return.
The taxman has allowed applicable taxpayers until October 2 this year to submit their late returns and pay what they owe. As with other campaigns, those who volunteer the information by the cut off date will be given reduced penalties.
Those with late returns will already have been told if any fixed penalties are due. £100 is charged when a return is late with another £100 for returns that are still outstanding six months later. Interest and surcharges are also payable on any tax paid late.
HMRC can also charge a penalty based on the amount owed. This can be as much as 100 per cent of the tax, however in some circumstances this can be reduced to nothing. Taxpayers faced with large fines may be able to spread the payments.
However, the Chartered Institute of Taxation has recommended that HMRC should unveil a big national campaign for all taxpayers rather than launching different targeted campaigns every few weeks. Doctors and dentists amongst many other groups are already the subject of special initiatives.
Gary Ashford, who represents the Chartered Institute of Taxation (CIOT) on HMRC’s Compliance Reform Forum, commented: “Many people will be surprised that HMRC have to launch a campaign on these ‘missing’ self-assessment returns.“
A one-off ‘general disclosure facility’ that lasts sufficiently long and is sufficiently attractive to get people to come forward to clean the slate would make sense. We also wonder whether HMRC need to look at the current penalty regime to make sure they aren’t acting as a barrier to the whole area of campaigns.”
As an accountant; David Jacobs offers a range of accounting, audit and taxation advice to the legal and medical professions.