London's legal profession had better watch out: the taxman is coming and he wants three million pounds.
Her Majesty's Revenue & Customs (HMRC) has announced that it will investigate solicitors and barristers in the capital, and hopes to recover £3m from those who do not pay the right amount of tax.
The specialist team will visit members of the legal profession to examine their records and carry out other investigations.
David Gauke, the exchequer secretary, said: "We have made it clear that we will not tolerate tax evasion and we are determined to crack down on the minority who choose to break the rules. Everyone needs to pay the taxes they owe in full. It is not fair that at a time when most hard-working people are paying the right tax, others are trying to get out of paying what they should."
Michael Todd QC, spokesman for The Bar Council, which represents UK barristers, said: “It is not, at present, clear to us exactly why the legal profession has been targeted by HMRC. Barristers provide an essential, front-line public service which is crucial to the smooth running of our country’s excellent and world-renowned justice system. The law is one of the UK’s strongest exports, and barristers and solicitors bring billions in revenue to the UK every year."
HMRC has launched 30 taskforces since May 2011, investigating everyone from scrap metal merchants to restaurant owners. The taskforces are concentrated in so-called "high risk" areas of work where the tax office believes that people are not paying the right amount of tax.
Source: The Telegraph