Train4TradeSkills News: HMRC get their hands on tax-dodging plumbers

Train4TradeSkills News can reveal that five plumbers have been arrested in a series of investigations by HM Revenue and Customs.

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.



About Train4tradeSkills

Train4TradeSkills offer the only trade training skills courses that combine three great ways to learn, through a unique blend of book based theory, practical workshops and virtual reality PC based training, to help you qualify you as a plumber, electrician or gas engineer. No other learning provider offers our unique way to study, with full tutor support, easy to follow, step by step modules. Once you complete one part of the course and return your work for marking, the next stage of the course automatically follows. It’s as easy as that. It’s fun, it’s easy to follow... and it can be fitted around your existing work and family commitments!

Posted on August 23, 2011, in plumbing, plumbing courses, plumbing jobs, Plumbing News, t4ts, train4tradeskills and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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