The Chartered Institute of Taxation (CIOT) feels that today’s announcement by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) of a new campaign targeting private tutors and coaches who have undeclared tax liabilities warrants a pass mark, but says the taxman ‘could do better’ in this area.
Gary Ashford, who represents the CIOT on HMRC’s Compliance Reform Forum, and is National Head of Tax Investigations and Dispute Resolution at RSM Tenon, commented:
“HMRC’s targeting of another class of taxpayers comes as no surprise, given the Government’s high profile target of bringing in an extra £7 billion through initiatives to tackle tax avoidance, evasion and fraud by the end of the Parliament. They are right to highlight an opportunity like this but we think they need to make this possibility open to all.
“HMRC have a range of sources of evidence available to them and we assume that they have been doing their homework so they can target their anti-evasion efforts.
“Tutors who think they might not be on top of their (tax) forms will need to study this hard and make sure they get their sums right or they may find they are being taught a lesson by the taxman.
“Anyone who is worried that they have been underpaying tax – whether deliberately or in error – should get professional advice without delay. Even if they are not covered by a disclosure opportunity, penalties will generally be less severe for taxpayers who come forward voluntarily to put their affairs in order with HMRC.”
10 October 2011