Tax law expert encourages landlords to come forward voluntarily to reduce penalties and risk of prosecution.
Property vendors hoping to escape HMRC’s crackdown on undeclared income should think again, says a tax specialist from Manchester-based Kuits Solicitors.
The commentary came from Robert Levy, Executive Partner at the firm, in response to news that HMRC is to launch a taskforce to recoup £5 million from property traders operating in the North West and North Wales.
The move follows the success of other taskforces in other areas of the country, including London, South East England and Yorkshire, where over 80 cases are currently under criminal investigation.
HMRC have invested over £80 million in computer software (Connect) that analyses databases such as tax returns, Land Registry records and Council Tax records to look for anomalies.
The software will identify people letting property and not declaring the income, or selling property and not paying Capital Gains Tax.
Levy, who has over 30 years’ experience in tax advisory, has had first-hand experience of clients getting caught with undeclared income and gains:
“Voluntarily coming forward before being contacted generally leads to lower penalties and a much-reduced risk of criminal prosecution,” says Levy:
“I would urge such individuals to consider speaking to a specialist about their situation. Not only will a tax solicitor have the expertise to deal with unprompted disclosures and HMRC investigations, but people who are concerned about their tax affairs will be covered by legal privilege and therefore can take advice confidentially from someone who understands all the various implications.
“Doing nothing in the hope of escaping HMRC’s attention is a flawed strategy. As time goes on, there is more chance of being caught and the consequences of being caught are increasingly severe.”
Kuits Solicitors provides high quality legal services that combine in-depth technical expertise with commercial focus and dedicated client service. Based in Manchester city centre for over 100 years and specialising in a range of areas, including corporate, commercial, banking and finance, employment, commercial property, litigation, intellectual property, family, residential property, tax, and probate, Kuits have built a reputation as trusted advisors to a large number of PLCs, SMEs and individuals across the UK. For more information, visit www.kuits.com