Solicitors could suffer serious damage to their reputations if they fail to declare any outstanding tax debts, DSH Chartered Accountants & Business Advisors has warned.
The advice comes as HMRC launches its latest campaign aimed at encouraging specific professions and trades to voluntarily get their tax affairs in order before they face enforcement action.
These campaigns are launched when HMRC has evidence of large scale underpayment of tax in a particular sector of the economy.
Under the new Solicitors’ Tax Campaign voluntary disclosure opportunity, solicitors have until March 9, 2015 to tell HMRC they would like to make a voluntary disclosure, and until June 9, 2015 to disclose and pay the tax they owe.
“Solicitors who do not take advantage of the opportunity and fail to disclose their liabilities face far harsher penalties if or when HMRC subsequently finds they have outstanding tax to pay,” said Steve Carpenter, Director of Taxation of DSH’s Maidstone office.
“In the most serious cases they could find themselves in court, running the risk of their names being published in the press and subsequent damage to their personal reputation and that of their firm.”
Steve added that those solicitors most at risk are likely to be sole traders or part of a small partnership, but those in larger firms should also work closely with their accountants to ensure that their affairs are in order.
“HMRC has run similar campaigns targeting a range of professions, including barristers in London, and has raised almost £1 billion from voluntary disclosures and follow-up activity,” said Steve.
“Solicitors should work with their accountants now to determine whether they need to declare their intention to take part before the March deadline.”
To find out how DSH Chartered Accountants and Business Advisors could help your company, visit www.dsh.co.uk or call 01622 690666 / 01923 771010