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28th January 2021


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HMRC turns up the heat on plumbing industry

About 50,000 plumbers, gas fitters and heating engineers will start receiving letters this month from HM Revenue & Customs,alerting them to the chance to take advantage of a special time-limited tax plan to put right any gaps that might exist in their tax affairs.

The letter will explain that, once the opportunity expires, the tax authorities will begin a clampdown on those working in the sector who have failed to declare earnings and pay the tax they owe.

Under the tax plan, plumbers, gas fitters, heating engineers and members of associated trades who owe tax which they have not yet declared can come forward anytime up to 31st May to tell HMRC they want to take part. If they make a full disclosure, most face a low penalty rate of 10%, with a maximum of 20%. Once they come forward, they have until 31st August to make their disclosure and arrange for payment.

After that date, using information pulled together from different sources, HMRC will investigate those who have failed to come forward. Substantial penalties or even criminal prosecution could follow.

The Plumbers' Tax Safe Plan (PTSP) is the first initiative in a campaign focused on tradespeople. It is designed to make it easy for those in the plumbing industry to put their tax affairs in order.

"Our aim is to make it easy for plumbers to contact us, make a full disclosure of income and face a reduced penalty," explains 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.

"The first step for those wishing to avoid a full tax investigation with much higher penalties is to notify us.

"We do not think everyone who receives a letter owes us tax. However, if you owe tax and don't get a letter, do not assume that HMRC will not catch up with you."

To join the tax plan people in the plumbing industry must:

* Register with HMRC to 'notify' that they plan to make a voluntary tax disclosure by 31st May
* They then have until the 31st August to tell HMRC about tax due and make arrangements to pay any tax interest and penalties due. This is called 'making a disclosure'.

A dedicated team is available to give to information and advice.

T: 0845 600 4507
W: www.hmrc.gov.uk

28th April 2011

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