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HMRC targets tradespeople in new tax amnesty


HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) is writing to around 50,000 tradespeople as part of a new campaign to target tax evaders.


The Plumbers' Tax Safe Plan, which was announced in March, gives those in the plumbing, heating and associated trades the opportunity to declare any unpaid tax and pay a reduced penalty.


The letter warns that, once the opportunity expires, the tax authorities will begin a fresh clampdown. Investigations after the amnesty could result in 100% penalties and prosecution for wrongdoers.


Those affected have until 31 May to tell HMRC if they would like to take part in the temporary amnesty. It is thought that most participants will face a lower penalty rate of 10% for making a full disclosure, although HMRC may levy fines of up to 20%.


After notifying the tax authority, individuals will have until 31 August to make their disclosure and arrange for payment.


‘Our aim is to make it easy for plumbers to contact us, make a full disclosure of income and face a reduced penalty,’ said Mike Wells, HMRC's Director of Risk and Intelligence.


‘We are using a variety of intelligence sources to target plumbers who have not declared their full income and I urge tradespeople in this group who think they owe tax on their income to get in touch with HMRC and get their tax affairs in order simply and on the best available terms’.


More information on the campaign can be found on the HMRC website.