HM Revenue and Customs
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Plumbers have one month to come clean on tax

Plumbers have one month to come clean on tax

News Release issued by the COI News Distribution Service on 03 August 2011

Plumbers, gas fitters and heating engineers have only one month left to tell HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) about tax that they owe and to make arrangements to pay any interest and penalties due.

They were offered a special tax plan to put right their tax affairs in March this year. HMRC then began using information held on people working in the plumbing industry to clamp down on those who have chosen not to come forward and take advantage of the Plumbers Tax Safe Plan (PTSP).

Since June, HMRC has been using information gathered from many different sources to open investigations into hundreds of people who have failed to come forward. In addition to penalties, defaulters can face criminal prosecution.

Under the PTSP, plumbers, gas fitters, heating engineers and members of associated trades who owed tax that they had not declared faced a penalty rate of only 10 per cent, with a maximum of 20 per cent. They have until 31 August to arrange for payment.

HMRC has left the PTSP disclosure route open for those in the plumbing industry with unpaid tax who still wish to come forward, although they may not receive exactly the same terms as under the plumbers plan.

Mike Wells, HMRC's Director of Risk and Intelligence, said:

“Plumbers who have notified us of their intention to disclose now have until the end of August to tell us what they owe and make arrangements to pay.

“We are determined to ensure everyone pays their fair share and, since 31 May, have begun a series of enquiries targeting people in the plumbing industry. More than 600 will be underway by the end of this month, with many more to follow. “

“We have left the PTSP disclosure route open and I urge anyone with unpaid tax to use it to come forward and avoid potentially lengthy and costly investigations. The penalty they will pay will still be lower than when HMRC catches up with them.”

How do those in the plumbing industry disclose unpaid tax and make arrangements to pay?

* Online at
* Ring HMRC on 0845 600 4507.

HMRC campaigns have so far raised more than £500m from voluntary disclosures and a further £100m from follow-up investigations. Campaigns have targeted offshore investments, medical professionals and those trading above the VAT turnover threshold but who have not registered for VAT.

Notes to Editors

1. Once this disclosure opportunity closes on 31 August 2011, taxpayers who have not come forward but are found to have unpaid tax liabilities will face higher penalties, rising to 100 per cent of the tax evaded or, potentially, criminal prosecution.

2. HMRC has used legal notices and new technology to gather and analyse data from industry bodies, tax records, advertising directories and Health and Safety prosecutions. This detailed information will be used to contact and then pursue people who should come forward and use the PTSP. Anyone HMRC catches up with who could have used the PTSP is likely to face greater costs than if they came forward voluntarily, as well as running the risk of prosecution.

3. The terms being made available during this window are in line with those HMRC offers for any full, accurate, unprompted voluntary disclosure of tax liabilities.

4. For this campaign HMRC has consulted: Low Income Tax Reform Group, Tax Aid, the Citizens Advice Bureau, as well as accountancy representative bodies.

5. Summary information on existing and future campaigns is available on the HMRC website at .

6. Follow HMRC on Twitter @HMRCgovuk.

NAT 65.11
Issued by HM Revenue & Customs Press Office

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