The General Dental Council has issued a warning to dentists not to engage in any tax avoidance schemes in light of the forthcoming self-assessment tax returns coming up.
Rebecca Cooper, Associate Director, Policy and Research, at the GDC wrote on the GDC website:.
“Around 40% of the dental professionals we surveyed in 2020 told us they were self-employed or working as a freelancer or locum. That’s around 46,000 dental professionals.
“Providing NHS services through dental contracts and other factors means that working as a self-employed associate or contractor is common in dentistry. But being employed in this way may mean you’re unknowingly involved in a tax avoidance scheme. It’s important you understand the risks, and the steps you can take to make sure you don’t get caught out.”
Continuing, she wrote:
“Tax avoidance is when people bend the rules of the tax system to try to pay less tax than they should. But if you join a tax avoidance scheme you could end up having to pay the tax due, and may need to pay interest and penalties as a result.
“Tax avoidance is not a criminal offence, and we will not take an interest in your dealings with HMRC, but it’s important to understand that you are responsible under UK law for paying the correct amount of tax. Even if you’ve appointed someone to deal with your tax affairs or you’ve been given bad advice, the responsibility remains with you.”
Jonathan Smith, Director of Counter Avoidance, HMRC, explains:
“Tax avoidance schemes are marketed as clever ways to pay less tax. They rarely work in the way that the promoters claim, and users can end up with large tax bills, sometimes having to pay far more than the tax they tried to avoid, including interest and penalties.
“We will continue to use all powers at our disposal to act against those who design and sell such schemes.
“Anyone who thinks they may be involved in a tax avoidance scheme, should contact us as soon as possible to get help.”
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