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The HMRC Tax Health Plan campaign recently uncovered a doctor who has evaded paying nearly £186,000 in tax. As the medic hadn’t previously come forward to register for the voluntary disclosure campaign, he has ended up being jailed for 18 months.

When questioned by investigators of HMRC, Michael Summer told officers that he “wasn’t good with numbers”. However, he had managed to pay for his home to be extensively renovated, private schooling, and holidays. Since 2010, the doctor had earned over £750,000 but had only declared around half of his income, evading the payment of income tax and national insurance on the other half. Following the launch of the HMRC Tax Health Plan campaign, officers uncovered the evasion whilst tackling the problem of dentists and doctors not declaring their total income.

Summer worked in the private sector, although he was self employed, and he prepared medical reports for the armed forces and insurance companies. His first self assessment tax return to be fraudulently submitted was his 2008-09 return. At this time, he under declared his income by around £12,000 but, as the years went on, he increased the amount until in 2011-12, the total had increased to £195,000 in undeclared income.

When questioned, Summer admitted that he had provided his accountant with false income figures. He was sentenced to 18 months in prison, with confiscation action to take place. Although Summer had deliberately evaded tax, HMRC is now more likely than ever to launch an enquiry.

Here are some tips on how to cope if you become the subject of an investigation:

1. The first step when you have been notified of an investigation? Don’t panic! Most enquiries are completely random and don’t mean that you have done anything wrong. You will usually receive a letter from HMRC telling you whether you are the subject of a full enquiry or a specified aspect.

2. You may require professional advice to help you deal with the enquiry. Becoming the subject of an investigation can be daunting, and will probably eat up a lot of your time. Here at The Accountancy Partnership, we are experienced in dealings with HMRC enquiries and investigations, and are able to offer our expertise.

3. Once you have been notified of an investigation, keep all correspondence between yourself and HMRC. Don’t throw anything out. Notes of telephone calls and letters about the enquiry should all be retained.

If you are a medical professional and have been the subject of an investigation by HMRC and want to let us know how it went, or ask us any questions, please let us know in the comments box below.

About The Author

Karl Bilby

We work very closely with our expert accountants to bring you the latest factually correct tax and accounting news. We also enjoy writing about small business news that we hope you find useful!

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