Train4TradeSkills News: HMRC get their hands on tax-dodging plumbers
The arrests in London, Hampshire, Surrey, Middlesex and West Bromwich follow more than 500 swoops across the country.
The tax offices originally wrote to 50,000 trades people in the plumbing industry, warning them to pay any tax they owed or face big fines. ‘Moonlighting’ is seen as a major problem in the industry. Those who paid up before the May deadline were subject to fines of up to 20 per cent of the tax owed.
Now the taxman is hunting those who did not come forward. It’s believed that some investigations involve up to £150,000.
“These raids and arrests of ‘ghosts’ – people who have not declared income from the work they do – are the culmination of months of work by HMRC,” said John Pointing, of HMRC.
He said further raids were expected in the next few weeks across in Yorkshire, Kent, Cambridgeshire, Tyne and Wear, the Midlands and South Wales.
The Chartered Institute of Taxation previously said that a lack of clear advertising to plumbers had left some in the trade unaware of the campaign, but now HMRC has stepped up the pressure.
“HMRC has had limited success with the numbers coming forward in the recent disclosure opportunities, so they are getting tough with those who did not register or disclose,” said Gary Ashford, of the CIOT.
“People should not underestimate the amount of data that HMRC is holding. What we are now seeing is HMRC starting to use that information. The net is tightening on those who break the law.”
According to the Government, £45bn is lost each year through unpaid taxes in the UK. A budget of £917m has been made available to HMRC to tackle evasion and avoidance.
Previous disclosure campaigns have been targeted at doctors, dentists and, more recently, restaurant owners and staff.
Posted on August 23, 2011, in plumbing, plumbing courses, plumbing jobs, Plumbing News, t4ts, train4tradeskills and tagged Chartered Institute of Taxation, HM Revenue & Customs, Plumber, plumbers tax, plumbing, plumbing news, self-employed plumber, t4ts, tax-dodging plumbers, Train4trades, train4tradeskills. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.